MORE than 1,000 people have signed an online petition to try and save the doomed blood donor centre in Brentwood.

The NHS Blood and Transplant board decided last month that the centre on Crescent Drive would close, just a year after it was saved.

The popular centre is likely to close early next year. The petition had received over 1,300 names by the times the Weekly News went to print this week.

If the closure goes ahead, the nearest donation centre to the town would be in Cambridge – over 50 miles away.

Donors see it as a vital resource because it enables local people to donate platelets, via a process called apheresis, which takes only certain components from donors’ blood.

These are then used to help newborn babies, children and people going through chemotherapy and other complex illnesses.

Those who use the centre have left comments on the petition expressing their disappointment at its proposed closure.

Donor, John Laidler, from Chelmsford, said the closure would mean the loss of an “excellent” team.

He said: “This feels like a local short term cost cutting measure, based on the expediency of local NHS property estate circumstances, rather than donor and patient safety, capacity and strategic health needs.”

Jane Griffiths, Acting Head of Region for the East at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "We are taking the petition very seriously - as we are with all of the feedback from our donors.

“We do genuinely want to try and ensure everyone has an understanding of why we are taking these proposals forward and that they have an opportunity to meet with us.”

The next drop in session at the centre for those wishing to express concern at the closure is Tuesday, July 1.