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The United Kingdom Transfusion Laboratory Collaborative (UKTLC) was formed in 2006 in response to 30-40% of the wrong blood events reported to SHOT originating in the hospital transfusion laboratory. The Collaborative involves all major transfusion organisations within the UK including the Institute of Biomedical Scientists, Royal College of Pathologists, British Blood Transfusion Society and UKNEQAS (the national quality assessment scheme for transfusion).

Results of the 2023 SHOT and UKTLC safety culture survey in transfusion laboratories in the UK is now published

In November 2023, SHOT and the UK Transfusion Laboratory Collaborative (UKTLC) conducted a survey on safety culture within the transfusion laboratories across UK. The summary report is now ready with key recommendations to improve safety culture. SHOT and the UKTLC would like to express our sincere gratitude to all who responded to the survey and shared their lived experiences. Your responses have helped to highlight the concerns regarding safety culture in laboratories and has informed improvement actions at a national level.


Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) President Joanna Andrew has provided the following comment:

“The 2023 SHOT and UKTLC laboratory culture survey reveals a concerning situation. It suggests that transfusion laboratory staff across the UK report feeling psychologically unsafe, with issues sometimes ignored and a degree of incivility present. This culture requires attention. Organisations must encourage a culture and have a clear strategy to listen to staff, support them, and actively work to create safe, positive work environments. This isn’t just about staff wellbeing – it’s about ensuring the highest quality care for patients.”


A document with suggestions to improve safety culture has also been created based on ongoing initiatives in various parts of the UK to support healthcare organisations and is available below.

Please note that SHOT Bite (SHOT Bite 24) about speaking up for safety culture can be accessed here:  SHOT Bites

Current UKTLC Standards and related resources

The UKTLC standards have been revised for 2023, replacing the previous version (Chaffe et al., 2014) and a full report will be published in Transfusion Medicine. An abridged version of the standards is provided here for laboratories to begin the compliance and gap analysis process. To support this process a gap analysis template is also provided, along with other resources that can be used to aid compliance.

UKTLC Standards 2023 – abbreviated version

UKTLC Standards 2023 Gap Analysis Tool

Capacity Planning Guidance May 2021

Example Capacity Plan

Mapping a band 5 or 6 against IBMS specialist learning outcome

Mapping a band 7 against IBMS HSD learning outcomes


Previous UKTLC Standards

Based on the UKTLC surveys of 2007 and 2008, the ‘Recommended minimum standards for hospital laboratories’ were published in 2009

Recommended minimum standards for hospital transfusion laboratories (2009)


The UKTLC revisited its 2009 recommendations and developed them further into minimum standards for education, training, competency and the use of information technology for the hospital transfusion laboratory (UKTLC standards 2014)

UKTLC Standards 2014


UKTLC Survey 2022 – Key Findings

UKTLC Survey 2019 – Key Findings

UKTLC Survey 2017 – Key Findings

UKTLC Survey 2015 – Key Findings

UKTLC Culture Survey Summary 2019

UKTLC Culture Survey Report 2019

UKTLC Webinars

Click here to view previous UKTLC webinars:

Optimising Learning from Incidents – Joint SHOT, MHRA and UKTLC Webinar June 2023

This webinar was live on 09 June 2023. Members of the SHOT team along with Chris Robbie from MHRA and UKTLC colleagues covered some key aspects of incident investigations, regulatory framework, the use of human factors and ergonomics, and the importance of effective interventions. The presentation also covered a holistic approach to safety and the importance of learning from all events (excellence, day to day events) not just from when things go wrong. Relevant resources, both from SHOT and external sources, were also signposted.

UKTLC standards and survey update webinar May 2023

This webinar was live on 12 May 2023. Members of the SHOT team and UKTLC provide an overview of UKTLC, key highlights from the UKTLC survey results, latest standards, and resources. Additionally there is input from the MHRA perspective including the importance of UKTLC standards for inspections. The presentation also includes where to find additional transfusion related resources.

Click here to view the PBM The Biomedical Scientist Empowerment, Education and Discussion Group (BMSEDG) May 2023 video covering the new UKTLC standards and the latest survey outputs. This video is aimed at those working in Transfusion, brought to you by the Patient Blood Management Team at NHS Blood and Transplant.