Blood Service centralization

Belgian Red Cross-Flanders aims to be an organization that makes the best possible use of its available manpower and resources in order to deliver maximum impact. To achieve this goal, we are continually optimizing the functioning and organization of the Blood Service. The Blood Service plans to concentrate its activities in two locations in order to organize its processing of blood products with maximum quality and efficiency.

Ghent Campus: integration of Bruges laboratories

In late 2012, the components laboratory, which processes blood products, and the R&D laboratory in Bruges were incorporated into the Ghent blood transfusion center. This new Ghent components laboratory covers the regions of East and West Flanders. The Ghent Campus will be able to take over processing activities from the future Mechelen Campus in the event of problems, and vice versa, thus ensuring maximum continuity.

The donor center has been transferred from the building in Ghent to temporary premises nearby. The search for a permanent base in Ghent is under way.

Mechelen Campus: first pile driven for new building

By 2015, we plan to implement the next stage of the centralization process by centralizing the processing and distribution of blood products, which currently takes place in Leuven and Antwerp, at a new building in Mechelen. The various clinical biology laboratories (apart from the immunohematology labs at the university hospitals) will also be relocated there.

The new building in Mechelen will also house an additional donor center, various laboratories, the central administration and the medical secretariat, offices, meeting rooms and a warehouse, as well as the Blood Service management.

The change will mean that staff, resources and equipment can be used more efficiently. Mutual collaboration between the various departments of the Blood Service will become smoother. With this increased efficiency and quality, we aim to provide an even better service to our donors and to the hospitals that receive our blood products or use our research expertise. The collection of blood, platelets and plasma will remain as decentralized as possible.

June 21, 2012 saw the first energy pile driven for the new building, which will be Belgian Red Cross-Flanders’ second premises in Mechelen. Present at the occasion were Deputy Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx, Flemish Minister Jo Vandeurzen and the mayor of Mechelen Bart Somers.

The building will be extremely environmentally and energy-conscious. This philosophy has been deliberately factored in at every stage: contracting (responsible use of materials, ISO 14001-certified contractors), sustainable design (energy strategy, efficient spatial planning), construction (sustainable and socially responsible site management, waste management, energy and water monitoring, policy on air and water pollution, safety, communication with local residents, energy recovery, energy piles, ground heat exchanger and heat pumps) and building fabric (triple glazing, high energy performance: E40 - K20, external sunguards, building management system with monitoring, daylight control, rainwater recovery, photovoltaic cells, increased air-tightness). Everything is compliant with BREEAM certification standards.

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