The NHS’s Blood and Transplant division (NHSBT) have found more people gave blood in Bury last year than before the pandemic.

The NHS are pushing for more people to register to give blood ahead of World Blood Donor Day which falls on June 14.

The annual event raises awareness of the need for safe blood around the world.

This year the NHSBT are calling for more donors to come forward after numbers have dropped across England during the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures show 2,565 people gave blood in Bury in the year to March, an increase on 2,106 the year before and higher than the year to March 2020, when 2,080 people donated.

The organisation said demand for blood reduced during the pandemic as hospitals suspended routine care.

But more donors are needed now due to a drop in recruitment and hospital activity picking up again.

They have set a target of nearly 175,000 new donors nationally, including 20,358 across the Northwest.

The NHS is particularly short of blood types O negative and B negative and is encouraging people to get tested to see if they have in-demand, rare blood that could save lives.

Head of blood donation marketing for NHS Blood and Transplant, Alex Cullen, said: “The NHS needs more donors over the next five years of all blood types.

"We especially need more Black African and Black Caribbean donors to help patients with sickle cell.

“A mass public campaign is being held this National Blood Week and throughout June to identify people with most needed blood types.

“This year we’re encouraging more people to donate and find out their blood type – it’s quick and easy."

Figures for Bury show 539 new donors gave blood for the first time in the year to March, a rise from 326 the year before, but higher than the year to March 2020, when 362 people donated for the first time.

The number of new people registering to give blood in the area is below pre-pandemic levels, with 944 people registering in 2021-22, compared to 1,049 in 2019-20.

Across England, the number of blood donors has been declining for some time.

In the year to March, 789,840 people donated – while 878,612 did in the year to March 2016.