EXTRA safety measures have been put in place in Oxfordshire to ensure 'essential' blood donations to the NHS can continue as numbers fall.

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson said: “We need people in Oxfordshire who are fit and healthy to keep donating as normal during the coronavirus outbreak.

See our live blog for the latest coronavirus updates

"We’ve put extra safety measures in place and safety is always our number one priority."

They added extra cleaning was being done and this week staff had started triaging everyone who arrives so only people with no risk factors can enter the donation area.

Bicester Advertiser:

Liverpool Donor Centre Dale Street. Staff highlighting the measures being taken to keep everyone safe from Coronavirus. Picture: Gareth Jones

The spokesperson continued: “A lot of people have called us asking if sessions are still going ahead.

"We need them to know that our sessions and donor centres are still open and that travel to a blood donation sessions is essential for the NHS. Blood donation is a reason to do something amazing. Blood donation saves lives.”

ALSO READ: Oxford University want volunteers for coronavirus vaccine

Donors are asked to follow the latest advice from the Government and the NHS is regularly reviewing the situation.

The spokesperson said donations have dropped but stock levels 'are currently still good' because hospitals are cancelling routine operations. There is a permanent blood donation centre in Oxford at John Radcliffe Hospital. To make appointment to donate or for more information, call 0300 123 23 23, download the NHS Give Blood app, or visit blood.co.uk.