Funding and participants
European Commission Funding for the project was obtained in spring 2007 with participants from eight countries. Participants from a further ten countries had joined the project by October 2008. In all 18 EU Member States have taken part: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia; and three UK countries: England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. This book and the website that supports it have been developed during a collaborative project that was initiated by the European Blood Alliance and co-funded by the European Commission and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.
At the first project meeting in Edinburgh in May 2007 three working groups were established. The meeting, over three days, included both working group and plenary sessions. All participants, at their first project meeting, gave a short presentation on the key features of their own service and working environment. The decision to work in sequential plenary and small groups was chosen because of the degree of interaction between the topics covered by the working groups. It allowed for ideas to be developed in the small groups and then tested by discussion in the whole group. This arrangement proved successful and was continued for the subsequent workshops in Edinburgh (August 2007), Slovenia (Lake Bled) in March 2008, and Estonia (Tallinn) in October 2008. The final workshop was in Edinburgh in September 2009. Additional participants who had joined during the first year of the project were invited to form a fourth working group that has developed the Glossary for the project.
Participants received the first draft of the manual for the Tallinn workshop, where it was exhaustively discussed. The second draft was distributed in February 2009 with specific questions to participants. Detailed responses were received from a majority of participating countries and these were incorporated into the third draft.
Workshop reports, presentations, and questionnaire reports have been displayed on the project website. However it has been recognised that a website with greater functionality and capacity is essential for effective sharing and discussion of the results of the project. During the course of the project, the Project team and participants have given presentations at numerous meetings of scientific/medical societies and European bodies. An open meeting to launch the manual is planned to coincide with the 31st Meeting of the International Society of Blood Transfusion in Berlin, June 2010.
Although not funded in the EU Grant, external funds have been secured to develop the first phase of a new website that will ensure that the resources of the project are made widely available.