JPAC Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee

Consent for Blood Transfusion

It is a general legal and ethical principle that valid consent should be obtained from a patient before they are treated.

In 2011, the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) published a report ‘Patient Consent for Blood Transfusion’ which includes the following recommendations:

  • Valid consent for blood transfusion should be obtained and documented in the patient's clinical record by the healthcare professional.
  • There should be a modified form of consent for long term multi-transfused patients, details of which should be explicit in an organisation's consent policy.
  • Patients who have received a blood transfusion and who were not able to give valid consent prior to the transfusion should be provided with information retrospectively.

SaBTO produced the following additional resources to assist the consent process:

  • A standardised information resource for clinicians indicating the key issues to be discussed by the healthcare professional when obtaining valid consent from a patient for a blood transfusion.
  • A good practice guidance resource to help identify the most effective way of providing information retrospectively when patients were unable to give prior consent.
  • A SaBTO approved action plan to support the delivery of these recommendations.


Useful links:

NHSBT Patient Information Leaflets

LearnBloodTransfusion (includes a specific Consent for Blood Transfusion module)

BCSH Blood Administration Guidelines (plus Consent for Blood Transfusion Addendum)

General Medical Council Consent Guidance

Department of Health Reference Guide to Consent for Examination or Treatment