Leukaemia trust calls for cord blood banks

Leukaemia charity The Anthony Nolan Trust is to use The Whitehouse Consultancy to help raise support for its proposal to set up a national cord blood bank.

Anthony Nolan Trust: plans for cord blood banks
Anthony Nolan Trust: plans for cord blood banks

The agency has been brought in on a 12-month contract to raise the group's public affairs profile. It will liaise with medical stakeholders, NHS staff, Royal Colleges, MPs, committee members and associated groups.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is currently going through Parliament. While the bill does not cover cord blood banks, the agency will use the opportunity to open up dialogue with key stakeholders.

This is the first time The Anthony Nolan Trust has brought in external public affairs support.

The charity is in talks with the Wellcome Trust and the MRC to secure £27m funding to roll out a national programme of 14 banks.

It currently runs a bank in London's Kings College Hospital and is due to open another in the East Midlands.

The Anthony Nolan Trust is headed by director of marketing and comms David Knights and has an internal press team of three.

Last year, Six PR was used for a viral campaign to promote Anthony Nolan Week to a youth audience. It also retains The BIG Partnership for work in Scotland.

Currently, the NHS has cord blood banks in four hospitals in north London. There are also private banks available that charge up to £15,000 to save cord blood.

Virgin Health Bank, another private/public bank, has also just taken on an agency - Media House International - to promote the service.

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