Donors are being urged to give blood because the latest bout of bad weather has left stocks low.
Blood-giving sessions have had to be cancelled, and potential donors have had trouble reaching donor centres where blood-giving sessions have gone ahead.
This has resulted in a shortage of “universal donor” group O negative blood in particular.
As a result, NHS Blood and Transplant has issued an “urgent call for blood donations”, encouraging all donors who are able to brave the elements and attend those sessions that are still going ahead.
NHS Blood and Transplant assistant director of blood donation Jon Latham said: “To boost stocks we need to ensure that we make the most of the sessions that are going ahead despite the bad weather to try to make up for the cancellations in other areas and urge donors to make every effort to attend if they possibly can.
“We especially need O negative donors at the moment as we have experienced higher than expected orders for this type of blood recently.”
Health secretary Andrew Lansley visited the West End Blood Donor Centre in central London to highlight the need for blood donors to come forward.
He also urged donors either to visit a permanent blood donor centre, or make a special effort to attend donor sessions being run in their area.