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Commercial umbilical cord blood collection

This leaflet is for parents considering commercial options for collecting Umbilical Card Blood. We wish to make it clear that Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust does not endorse the routine collection of cord blood stem cells for commercial reasons.

Why we do not support taking umbilical stem cells for commercial reasons

Our position is based on guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, The Royal College of Midwives and advice from the National Health Service
Litigation Authority. From July 2008 the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) requires NHS Trusts who wish to procure cord blood for stem cells to obtain a licence to undertake this practice. Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust maternity services do not have a licence to undertake this procedure, nor do they intend to obtain one for the foreseeable future.

Engaging a commercial company

Although there is no scientific evidence to support routine commercial collection of cord blood, we recognise that this may appeal to some parents. If you wish to collect blood from your new baby’s cord, there are commercial companies who have a licence to do this for you. In order to support this choice, the Trust will allow these companies to practice on Trust premises with the following conditions.

  • All discussions and arrangements with the independent company are the responsibility of the parents.
  • It is understood that Trust staff are not able to assist with the collection in any way. By doing so without a licence they would be committing an offence under the Human
    Tissue Act.
  • The Trust disclaimer is completed and returned prior to the birth of your baby.
  • The parents will arrange for the commercial company to be given a copy of the Trust guidance including infection control requirements and a representative of the company needs to agree and sign the disclaimer.

If you wish to pursue commercial cord blood collection, please talk initially to your community midwife who will arrange for you to have further discussions with a senior midwife or obstetrician.

Further information available from:

Please remember that this leaflet is intended as general information only. We aim to make the information as up to date and accurate as possible, but please note that it is subject to change. Please therefore always check specific advice on any concerns you may have with your doctor.

How can you help reduce healthcare associated infections?

Infection prevention & control is important to the well-being of our patients and for that reason we have infection prevention and control procedures in place. Keeping your hands clean and wearing a face mask is an effective way of preventing the spread of infections. Please follow our infection prevention and control guidelines when visiting our healthcare sites. Further information is available on our website.

Patient Advice Sheet

If you would like a copy of this information on audiotape, in large print or translated, please call the Patient Advice Liaison Service on 01296 831120 or email