Blood Donation Deferral Changes

WCBS plans to implement several updates to our donation deferral policies from 1 February 2023. The changes have been carefully reviewed, compared with national and international policies, and approved by the WCBS Clinical Governance Committee. As always, patient and donor safety remain our utmost priority.

The most important deferral changes include:

  • Insulin dependent diabetic donors will now be able to donate blood, provided that their blood sugar levels are well controlled and they do not have any known diabetic complications. A letter will be required from the donor’s doctor when they reach the age of 60 to confirm it is safe for them to continue donating blood.
  • People with pacemakers can donate blood provided that they are asymptomatic and the device was inserted more than 6 months prior to the donation, with written permission from their doctor (stating the type of device that was used).
  • WCBS will now allow people who have used intravenous recreational drugs to donate following a deferral period of 3 months (this donor population was permanently deferred in the past). This change is based on increased confidence in the testing methodologies used to detect viral infection in blood donations (ie. nucleic acid testing).
  • Donors who have undergone a cardiac bypass or stent will be permitted to donate 6 months after the procedure (without the previous requirement of a letter from their doctor) provided that they are asymptomatic.

For more information about WCBS deferral policies, contact Dr Caroline Hilton – Lead Medical Consultant (


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