A new centre for the collection of vital cord blood donations was opened at St George’s Hospital, London, on Monday (19th October) by Public Health Minister Gillian Merron.

Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after a baby is born. It is rich in stem cells and can be provided to help patients whose bone marrow is not working properly due to disease or medical treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Public Health Minister Gillian Merron said: “Cord blood offers enormous potential to treat and cure. The NHS bank offers cancer patients greater access to potential life-saving stem cell matches. Opening this new centre in an ethnically diverse area will help ensure we have enough cells of the right matches.”

“Harnessing scientific advances offered by stem cells through this new NHS centre means that mums can save lives as they bring one into the world.”

During her visit the Minister met trained cord blood collection staff, clinicians and donors in the maternity unit at St George’s.

Notes to editors

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