This patient information website has undergone extensive review by key stakeholders and consumer representatives and has also been subjected to rigorous user testing.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service collects, tests, processes and distributes all blood in Australia and has a total annual revenue of $580 million. The Blood Service employs more than 3800 people, with 1970 volunteers, in 83 fixed donor centres and 38 mobile units that visit over 1000 sites annually. As well, we operate four major blood processing centres and two major blood inventory and distribution hubs throughout Australia.
Before the Blood Service came into formal existence in 1996, the collection, processing and distribution of blood products throughout the country's health system was managed by individual State and Territory Red Cross Transfusion Services. The establishment of a national blood service has facilitated new levels of national and international co-operation, resulting in improved consistency, quality and safety across Australia.
Now a large professional organisation with more than 3,800 employees working in scientific, medical and support services, the Blood Service is remarkable in that its very existence depends on the continued support of more than 520,000 generous Australians who give their time and their blood as a gift or donation. This balance between a volunteer base of blood donors and medical and scientific professionals who manufacture and distribute blood products is one of the characteristic features of the organisation, one that has to be constantly monitored and managed. The unique features of the Australian system are the principle of voluntary non-remunerated donors to support delivery of fresh blood components and the striving for self sufficiency in plasma derivatives.
The Blood Service is a division of Australian Red Cross, and subscribes fully to the humanitarian principles that are fundamental to that organisation. Australian Red Cross provides the vital social and professional umbrella under which the Blood Service can carry out its important work with a clear mandate and consistent identity.
At the same time, the Blood Service also plays a central role in the health system of Australia, and is funded almost entirely by the governments of Australia who manage the health system.
The fact that the Blood Service is so highly recognised and regarded, and that it is so strongly supported by Australians and governments, is a tribute to the co-operation between State, Territory and Federal governments over recent years. The Blood Service could only evolve as an iconic Australian organisation with this active support of the people and governments of Australia.