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‘Influencers’ could boost D’Olier St blood donations

By Mindo - 21st Jan 2020

Color image depicting a blood donor in the process of donating blood in a medical clinic. Focus on the donor's arm and they are squeezing a foam ball to help the blood flow quicker. Room for copy space.

Use of “influencers” was recommended to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) to help boost donations at its clinic on D’Olier St, due to concerns it was not attracting enough donations.

According to a report to the IBTS board by CEO Mr Andrew Kelly, the D’Olier St clinic does not deliver sufficient donations “despite the very significant footfall on that street and Westmoreland St”.

He emphasised: “We need to get more donations from the biggest population centre in Ireland.”

Last summer, postgraduate students from Trinity College Dublin conducted research into increasing donations at the clinic. In his report to the board in September, Mr Kelly stated these recommendations “centred primarily on social media and the use of influencers, more targeted campaigns and ways of streamlining the process rather than how we could get more donors into D’Olier St. They did not look at whether D’Olier St was the correct venue for Dublin or should we be elsewhere.”

The report was obtained by the Medical Independent (MI) under Freedom of Information law.

An IBTS spokesperson told MI it had reviewed the recommendations in question.

“We have a stronger presence on social media and have a dedicated resource managing the appointments in D’Olier St.”

Asked if the IBTS considered opening the clinic on Saturdays, the spokesperson said it had surveyed donors in the past and “the overall response was that it is a day for family activities and catching up on weekly jobs”.

“We will continue to work at improving the donations collected in D’Olier St. The 2019 target for collections in D’Olier St was 14,700.

“Actual donations collected was 14,290; this represents a shortfall of 2.8 per cent.”

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