A national sperm bank is to be launched to meet the demands of donor requirements across the UK. It will be based at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and will offer “an NHS based fully-integrated donor recruitment, screening and banking centre”. The Department for Health (DoH) says it will benefit both NHS and private patients of all ethnicities, including same-sex couples and single women. For the first time, those from ethnic minority backgrounds will be able to choose from a range of culturally matched donors.
Essentially, the National Sperm Bank will increase the number of donor samples available for UK licensed clinics, both NHS and private, meaning many more patients can be treated at a clinic of their choice, in a safe and secure manner, at the time when their treatment is needed.
Charles Lister, NGDT chair of trustees
Funded by around £77,000 (around $130,000) government grant, the bank will be run by the National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT) in partnership with Birmingham Women’s Hospital. There is currently a national shortage of sperm donors in the UK, especially in NHS clinics, and as patient numbers continue to rise, treating those who need donor sperm is said to be a major problem. It is hoped the bank, which launches in October, will reduce the number of patients putting themselves at risk by using unregulated sperm donation services.
The National Sperm Bank will benefit all patients who need these services.