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We continue to fine-tune our clinics, and the result is a more comfortable, consistent and smooth-running clinic experience for donors. At the same time, we’ve been able to dramatically improve cost-efficiency, performance monitoring and planning across our clinic network.

In the past year, even as we faced challenges in donor recruitment, we continued to see a slight decline in the use of blood products as a result of medical advances, more efficient utilization and other factors. The convergence between our drive for greater efficiency and the need to realign our national collections targets with hospital requirements meant that some of our collections sites were no longer sustainable. We will continue to assess various aspects of our operations as part of our commitment to maintain quality and efficiency while still delivering value to the Canadian health-care system.


In 2014 we changed the blood collection model for Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L., introducing mobile donor clinics to replace what had been a permanent collection site. It was not a decision we took lightly, but given the decline in local collections over the previous five years, we concluded that maintaining the permanent site was no longer a sustainable option. The change has not affected patient care or the availability of blood products, which continue to be supplied to hospitals by our production and distribution centre in St. John’s. And while we understand that the closure, which affected 10 part-time employees, caused some disappointment in the community, it is part of a deliberate and carefully considered clinic strategy that reflects our responsibilities as a not-for-profit, taxpayer-funded organization committed to safely and efficiently meeting the blood needs of our hospital customers — and, ultimately, of Canadian patients.

Further implementation of our clinic strategy continued into 2015–2016. At the beginning of the year we opened a new clinic in Sudbury, Ont., that is more accessible to donors and offers a better working environment for staff. At the same time, we announced the closure of three permanent clinics in Corner Brook, N.L., Sydney, N.S. and Prince George, B.C. We are also replacing a fourth permanent clinic with a mobile clinic, discontinuing our Bloodmobile program in three cities and phasing out mobile clinics in 16 other communities across Canada. Once again these were difficult decisions, and we wrestled with them in the context of our need to continue growing support from existing and new donors even as the use of blood paradoxically declines. But after weighing factors such as the volume of units collected, the limited size of potential donor pools, labour and transportation costs and the distance from each site to the nearest production facility, we believe we’ve made the right choices to ensure a safe, efficient and sustainable national blood system.

Julie Poirier and Nancy Fox

Nancy, who works in the donor relations division at Canadian Blood Services, understands first-hand the importance of blood donation. A recipient herself, she and her daughter, Julie, both received blood in childhood to treat spherocytosis, a condition that affects red blood cell function.