Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
This leaflet tells you about your right to refuse a transfusion of blood or blood products as part of your treatment.
Can anyone refuse a blood transfusion?
Yes. We want to be sure we treat every patient in a way which recognises their individual choices or religious beliefs.
What should I do if I am to have a planned admission to hospital?
Before you are admitted to hospital, you will usually be invited to attend a pre-assessment clinic where you will be seen by a nurse or doctor.
You should make the nurse or doctor aware of your request for no blood or blood products to be used as part of your treatment. It is very important you tell hospital staff as soon as possible so they can plan your treatment. Please do this in writing and ask for it to be included in your medical notes.
Let your nurse or doctor see this to confirm you have put your wishes in writing. It is important to give this to your doctor or nurse so that it can be copied and included in your healthcare records.
How will staff react to my decision to refuse a blood transfusion or blood products?
Your doctor will discuss the possible risks with you, if any, of treating you without using blood products. You will need to decide if you are willing to accept these risks.
Your doctor has the right to decide whether they are willing to perform surgery under these circumstances. In this case, you may need to ask for a referral to a surgeon who is known, in principle, to accept patients who request non-blood management.
In all cases hospital staff will respect your right, as an adult patient, to decide what will happen to you during your treatment. In order to make sure your request is followed, a special sticker will be attached to your notes to make all staff aware of your wishes.
Will I be asked to sign a consent form?
Before any operation or treatment takes place, you will be asked to sign a consent form. In signing the form, you are agreeing to only the treatment you are willing to accept and which you have discussed with your doctor. This will be written on the consent form before you are asked to sign it.
Consent forms, approved by the NHS, have been specially designed to take account of the individual needs of patients.
What will happen if there is an emergency?
If an emergency arises during your stay in hospital, we will still respect your wishes.
What will happen if I am admitted to hospital as an emergency patient?
If you are admitted to hospital in an emergency and we know of your wishes, we will respect and follow them. We have a care pathway plan (plan of care) for dealing with these situations.
You can be confident you will receive the best possible care and treatment during your time in hospital.
To help us to respect your wishes you should inform us in writing and ask that this is kept on your medical record.
What if I am pregnant and refuse blood transfusion?
As part of your first appointment with your midwife, you will be asked whether you have any objections to receiving a blood transfusion or blood products. This could include the Anti-D injection.
If you choose to not receive blood, your midwife or GP will refer you to the high-risk anaesthetic / obstetric clinic to discuss your pregnancy and make a plan of care with you. Please make sure, if relevant, you have your Care Plan for women in labour refusing a blood transfusion with you.
What if I have other concerns?
If you have questions, which are not answered in this leaflet, or you are worried about any aspect of your treatment, please talk to one of your doctors or nurses. If they cannot answer your questions, they will find someone who can.
Helpful organisations that may help your decision-making:
Middlesbrough Hospital Liaison Committee
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Telephone 07942 919140
Jehovah’s Witness Patient Support Group
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Telephone 07933 861451
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Monday to Friday –
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these polices and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or: