New rules for blood donation permit old time blood donors to donate blood even after they touch 70 years of age.
It is hoped that this extension of age limit for blood donations will result in additional 15000 donations each year.
This means the donors who have donated blood in the past two years can continue to donate blood even after their 70th
birthday. However, there is no change in the rule for donors donating blood for the first time; the age limit for new donors still remains at 65.
According to NHS Blood and Transplant, the extension of age limit for blood donations came about owing to better health and fitness levels of the older lot.
Lynda Hamlyn, chief executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "Our older donors are amongst our most loyal and many want to keep giving beyond their 70th birthday. We continually review our donor criteria and given the steady improvement we have seen over recent years in the general fitness of our older donors, it is now safe for us to remove our upper age limit for donation. Those who have donated in the last two years will be able to continue giving as long as they meet our donor selection rules."
Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, said: "Many older blood donors will welcome the news that their age will no longer prevent them from donating blood, allowing them to continue contributing to this vital service."