HEALTH chiefs are calling for Poole residents to give blood this month to ensure stocks remain healthy over the Christmas period.

Poole Hospital is supporting the NHS Blood and Transplant Service's call for more donors, particularly as, last year, the hospital experienced its highest monthly transfusion rate during December.

Poole Hospital NHS Foundations Trust haematology and blood transfusion manager Mike Trevett said: "This year Poole Hospital has supported 54 patients experiencing major blood loss with approximately 50 per cent of these cases occurring during childbirth.

"All of these patients received emergency blood and acute care which would not have been possible without sufficient donor contribution.

"This figure does not include the high number of patients requiring blood support on a day to day basis which increases our demands.

"Nationally, blood stock levels can dip over the festive period as shopping, celebrations and extended public holidays mean giving blood is not a priority. However, patient demand remains the same throughout the festive period and can even increase."

Donors of all blood groups are needed, but the rarer groups like O negative, B negative and A negative are particularly important.

Regional donor marketing operations manager Shailesh Mistry said: "We are really grateful for the support of Poole Hospital as we need our loyal donors in Poole more than ever at this time of year to help us meet increased demand for lifesaving blood over the festive period.

"Please make and keep a date to donate in December. If you need to cancel please give us at least three days notice so we can open up the appointment to another donor."

Visit to make, view and change appointments. Appointments can also be made via the NHS Blood and Transplant Service's mobile phone app.