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1st floor, 68 Sackville Street
Manchester M1 3NJ

NHS Blood and Transplant

Redesigning the blood donation experience

Service design project reimagining the experience of donating blood at NHS donor centres.


Numbers of blood donations to the NHS Blood and Transplant service have fallen by 40% in the past decade, leaving a considerable gap in the supply of blood.

The lack of blood supply is negatively impacting the area of saving lives. We wanted to change this. Our approach aligned with the NHSBT’s core values of Caring, Expert and Quality. We designed with both donors and nurses in mind to create a better holistic experience in giving blood.

Balancing organisational objectives, employee needs and donor expectations, we designed a more desirable experience of the service improving donor satisfaction and increasing supply productivity.


We collaborated with stakeholders and subject matter experts to deliver a fresh perspective and customer experience that is donor-centric and staff friendly.

During the project we interviewed donors and stakeholders and facilitated ideation workshops collaborating with interior designers NoChintz. We visualised the current donation journey and created a shared vision through a future-facing blueprint.

In addition to technical specifications and a strategic roadmap to prioritise workflow, we created visual prototypes and a common language for a caring, relaxed and professional environment for the service.

By speaking to existing and potential donors, we envisioned a simplified service to encourage people to donate more often.


The design challenge was to introduce a timeless nature to the donor centre atmosphere, supporting the changing emotional mood through the donation journey and encouraging donors to feel confident in the process.

Not all centres are the same so we needed to support flexibility and allow for changes to aspects of each centre. Consideration of other factors such as space, furniture, lighting, layout, artwork and flow was all vital to the physical experience.

We also reimagined communications to give donors a sense of progress through each step and make registration easier and faster. Apple Health and Google Fit integration enabled donors to monitor the progress of donations.

We prototyped convenient notifications that kept donors informed from registration to their next visit.

The prototype facilitated:

  • Flexible specifications to facilities in different locations
  • Use of materials with minimal repair and maintenance
  • Adherence to NHS design principles
  • Future-facing service blueprint for the new donor centre
  • Visual 3D tour of new centres
  • Facilitated future changes and decision-making for NHS


The new donor centre design has been implemented in Bradford and will continue to roll out to more NHS donation centres across the UK.

The designs and recommendations have have been visualised in a narrative book – including digital and physical versions of clear guidelines – for the NHS teams to continue implementing at scale.

Feedback on the overall experience of the new Bradford centre has been extremely positive with over 1,500 people visiting to give blood for the first time.


  • 500 blood donations to prototype centre in the first month
  • 7,500 more units of blood have been donated
  • More than 22,000 lives have been saved or improved
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Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you. We’re always interested in meeting new people, businesses and organisations.

0161 236 9898

Find us

1st floor, 68 Sackville Street
Manchester M1 3NJ