NHS Blood and Transplant plots £40m omni-channel contact centre

Health service body responsible for interacting with almost 30 million registered organ donors and 800,000 that regularly give blood is seeking to offer users a comprehensive range of contact options

NHS Blood and Transplant is planning to implement a new £40m-plus nationwide customer contact centre to enable citizens to interact with the organisation through a comprehensive range of channels.

The health service body has published a commercial notice outlining its intent to deploy a new “omnichannel national contact centre solution”. The ultimate goal is to enable “existing and prospective donors [to engage] via their channel of their choice at a time of their choosing”.

Following a formal procurement process – scheduled to launch around the end of this month – NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) plans to sign a contract with a firm that can deliver a communications system incorporating a wide range of online, text and voice channels.

The procurement notice says: “We are looking for any potential provider to be able to demonstrate a strong record in delivering an integrated omni channel services including inbound and outbound calls, interactive messaging, social media, push messaging along with any experience of delivering effective channel deflection and digital solutions to meet the needs of a large and dedicated donor base, seamlessly facilitating the needs of existing and prospective whole blood, plasma, platelets and NHS organ donor register service users.”

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A total of 28.6 million citizens across the UK have agreed to donate their organs after their death, while almost 800,000 people regularly give blood. Contacts between NHSBT and this user base will include “appointment booking, queries, new donor registration, online technical support, administration and update of existing donor records and medical issues including responses to marketing campaigns[ and] effective donor complaint handling”.

The commercial notice added: “We are seeking discussions with suppliers to be able to provide NHSBT with best practice in the industry with regards to contact centre solutions to drive high-quality, efficient and appropriate contacts with our blood and organ Donors, with recognition of the critically important role our service delivery provides in maintaining stocks across the NHS.”

The NHS body expects to appoint the chosen supplier to a contract beginning in about a year’s time, ahead of a “full go-live” date of February 2026. The deal is expected to be worth £35m plus VAT – equating to £42m.

Following the recent cyberattack on Synnovis – a key provider of pathology services to support London NHS services – health service leaders issued an urgent call for donations of type O blood. This type can be safely used with any patient, reducing the need for checks, which have been operating at as little as 10% of their usual capacity.

Sam Trendall

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