Thieves stole fuel and damaged a Norwich-based blood collection vehicle preventing its use, which meant that vital donations to help save lives could not be picked up.

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The NHS Blood and Transplant team from Norwich was due to collect blood in Lowestoft but, due to the incident, was late in travelling to the venue and collecting voluntary blood donations from donors.

A spokesman for the team said that the loss to the blood collection because of the delay caused was in the region of 40 donations.

These donations from volunteer donors would have gone to help save and improve the lives of patients in need of a blood transfusion.

The incident took place on the evening of July 23 at the Norwich team base at the airport industrial estate.

A spokesman for the NHSBT said the police were notified and CCTV was checked but they were unable to obtain the suspected registration of a vehicle that may have been involved.

Derek Carr, lead donor relations manager for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Our teams collect blood from volunteer donors all across the Anglia region and being able to get our equipment and blood collection staff to venues is a key aspect.

“Luckily incidents such as this are extremely rare and the impact to our blood collection was minimised thanks to a quick response from Barford Hire in Great Yarmouth in sourcing an alternative vehicle for us which reduced the impact on our donors and on patients.”

Mr Carr thanked the volunteer blood donors in Lowestoft for their patience during the delay at the session.

He added: “Their commitment and flexibility were commendable, and each donation we receive helps to save or improve lives.“

Blood stocks get turned over very quickly in treating patients – so there is a continuing need for donors to come forward.

Call the donor helpline 0300 123 23 23 or visit blood.co.uk to find out more.

Has your firm or business in Norwich recently been targeted by thieves? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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