UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

No to blood money: Founder's vision for blood service

As privatisation of the national blood service still looms, it is worth remembering that the founder of the service did so to ensure blood was donated for the common good, rather than money.

Dr Richard Doll 1912-2005 set up the national blood service, insisting that Britain avoid the American path of paying donors for their blood.

As the joint union online petition tops 50,000, it is clear that the public will not be convinced by the new vague assurances from the health minister until they ‘are turned into a categorical commitment to keep all of this service firmly within the NHS and out of the hands of contractors’. http://www.unison.org.uk/ournhs/news_view.asp?did=12886

Check out the UNISON campaign pages at http://www.unison.org.uk/ournhs/news_view.asp?did=12886

Richard Doll was born on October 28th 1912 in Hampton. He joined the Communist Party in his student years and graduated from St Thomas’ hospital in 1937. His war years were spent in the RAMC, on a hospital ship.

Doll became famous for his joint scientific work on the link with cancer and smoking in a 1950 paper. Doll was a member of the Communist Party until May 1957. He resigned, due to his difference with the conclusions of the CPGB’s commission on Inner-Party Democracy. He and his wife were members of the Norland branch in Kensington at least for most of the 1950s but had probably joined in their youth.

In his later years, Doll was the most influential occupational epidemiologist, working particularly on exposure limits to asbestos. He died on July 24th 2005, aged 92.