Blood transfusions: Information about safety of donated blood 

We know you might have questions about receiving a blood transfusion. Here is some information that you may find helpful:

  • Since 1991, all blood donated in the UK is screened and distributed by NHS Blood and Transplant following rigorous safety standards and testing to protect both donors and patients.
  • Since testing has been introduced, the risk of getting an infection from a blood transfusion or blood products is very low. 
  • All blood donors are screened at every donation and every donation is tested before it is sent to hospitals. Blood services and blood safety has been transformed, not only in terms of technological advances in testing but also in the way donors are recruited and checked they are safe to donate.

Further information

Read more about the safety of blood from donations in England

Final report from the Infected Blood Inquiry 

The UK's Infected Blood Inquiry looked at the circumstances in which people were given infected blood and blood products from the 1970s to the early 1990s. The Inquiry published its final report on 20th May 2024. 

Infected Blood Inquiry: Support for people who may have been affected by infected blood in the past. 

Hepatitis C: Anyone who thinks they may have been infected with Hepatitis C can book a home NHS test online. The tests are free and confidential. To receive a self-testing kit which can be quickly dispatched to your home visit

Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is also linked to infected blood, this usually clears up on its own without treatment, but could develop into chronic hepatitis B. Find out more information about Hepatitis B.

HIV: HIV testing is also provided to anyone free of charge on the NHS. Home testing and home sampling kits are also available. Patients can find out more about HIV testing and the HIV testing services search tool on the NHS website.