National Association: United Kingdom Association for Milk Banking www.ukamb.org
National Guidelines: Donor breast milk banks: the operation of donor breast milk bank services published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in 2010 are available to download fromhttp://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG93
The first milk bank in the UK was established at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in London in 1939. The milk bank has been in operation ever since and is currently the longest continually operating milk bank in the world. During 2013 the only milk bank operating in Scotland moved to a new site and has become a centre offering a national service to Scotland. The NHSGGC Milk Bank is based in Glasgow.
A single bank also provides a service to the whole of Northern Ireland as well as to many hospital neonatal units in the Republic of Ireland. In England the number of milk banks has decreased from 15 to 13 but this is because several milk banks have merged to create services that are better able to provide a wider distribution of milk and recruit more donors. The number of neonatal units using donormilk is increasing and thanks to the volunteer motorcyclists who are better known as the ‘Blood Bikes’ (see www.thenabb.org.uk ) the collection and delivery of donor milk is achieved far more e effectively and efficiently and without cost to the milk banks.
Throughout the UK the activity of milk banks has increased and currently in excess of 1500 donors provide over 6500 litres of milk per year.