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Organisation at a glance

Our Vision

Saving and improving Australian lives through a world-class blood supply.

Our role

The National Blood Authority (NBA) is a statutory agency within the Australian government health portfolio that manages and coordinates arrangements for the supply of blood and blood products and services on behalf of all Australian governments.

All Australian governments are parties to the National Blood Agreement. The primary objectives of the National Blood Agreement are to:

  • provide an adequate, safe, secure and affordable supply of blood products, blood related products and blood related services
  • promote safe, high quality management and use of blood products, blood related products and blood related services in Australia.

The NBA

  • works with all Australian governments to determine the clinical requirements for blood and blood products and develop an annual supply plan and budget
  • negotiates and manages national contracts with suppliers of blood and blood products to obtain the products needed
  • assesses blood supply risk and develops commensurate contingency planning
  • supports the work of all Australian governments to improve the way blood products are governed, managed and used – including developing and facilitating strategies and programs that will improve the safety, quality and effectiveness of blood usage, particularly in the areas of national standards, criteria, guidelines and data capture and analysis
  • works collaboratively with key stakeholders to provide expert advice to support government policy development, including identification of emerging risks, developments, trends and new opportunities
  • manages the evaluation of proposals for blood sector improvements, including proposals for new products, technologies and system changes
  • provides secretariat support to the Jurisdictional Blood Committee (JBC).

Authority

The NBA was established by the National Blood Aurthority Act 2003 (NBA Act) following the signing of the National Blood Agreement by all state and territory Health Ministers in November 2002. As a material statutory agency, the NBA has a range of corporate and compliance responsibilities under the NBA Act, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), and the Public Service Act 1999, along with a responsibility to meet ministerial, parliamentary and financial reporting requirements.

Accountable Authority

Details of the NBA’s Accountable Authority during the current report period (2019-20) appear in Table 1.2 below.

TABLE 1.2 Details of Accountable Authority during the current report period (2019-20)

Name

Position title/position held

Date of commencement

Date of cessation

Mr John Cahill

Chief Executive

October 2016

n/a

Responsible Ministers and Portfolio

The NBA exists within the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister for Health. The NBA General Manager is the Chief Executive of the NBA and is a statutory officer responsible to the Commonwealth Minister for Health and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council.

On 29 May 2020 the Prime Minister announced that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will cease and a new National Federation Reform Council (NFRC) will be formed, with a National Cabinet at the centre of the NFRC. More information is available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

Our Outcome

Providing access to a secure supply of safe and affordable blood products, including through national supply arrangements and coordination of best practice standards within agreed funding policies under the national blood arrangements.

Funding

The National Blood Agreement provides for shared funding of NBA activities, with 63 per cent provided by the Commonwealth and the remaining 37 per cent provided by the state and territory governments. The funding covers both the national blood supply and the operations of the NBA.

During the last ten years, governments have provided funding of $10,677.6 million for the supply of blood and blood products as summarised in Table 1.3. In 2019-20, the total amount provided was $1,210.8 million. Governments provided funding of $10.0 million in 2019-20 for the operation of the NBA.

TABLE 1.3 Government funding for the supply of blood and blood products, 2010-11 to 2019-20

Year

Amount ($M)

Growth (%)

2010-11

939.2

6.9

2011-12

1,015.6

8.1

2012-13

1,049.3

3.3

2013-14

1,095.9

4.4

2014-15

922.7

-15.8

2015-16

1,040.9

12.8

2016-17

1,046.3

0.5

2017-18

1,153.3

10.2

2018-19

1,203.6

4.4

2019-20

1,210.8

0.6

Total

10,677.6

3.0 (average)

Note: Figures balance to the Audited Financial Statements

Our Staff

As at 30 June 2020 the NBA had an average staffing level (full time equivalent) of 58.58 staff. At this date, it also employed 26 contract staff. The organisational structure at 30 June 2020 is shown at Figure 1.1.

FIGURE 1.1 NBA Organisation as at 30 June 2020 NBA Organisation chart as at 30 June 2020

Location

The NBA is located in Canberra at 243 Northbourne Avenue, Lyneham, ACT.

Key Events in the NBA's History by Financial Year

2003

Established by the National Blood Authority Act 2003 following the signing of the National Blood Agreement by all State and Territory Health Ministers in November 2002

2003-04

Commencement of national supply arrangements for imported intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) to ensure sufficiency of supply in all jurisdictions

2004-05

Commencement of an adequate supply of recombinant Factors VIII and IX to fully meet demand

2005-06

NBA executed a Deed of Agreement with the Australian Red Cross Society for the provision of fresh blood products and plasma for fractionation

NBA won the Prime Minister's Silver Award for Excellence in Public Sector Management for procurement of recombinant (manufactured) products

2006-07

First edition of Criteria for the clinical use of IVIg in Australia was approved

2007-08

Launch of the National Blood Supply Contingency Plan (NBSCP) to provide clear governance for managing blood shortages

Launch of the redeveloped Australian Bleeding Disorders Registry (ABDR) to better support planning and clinical management of people with bleeding disorders

2008-09

Establishment of the Australian National Haemovigilance Program to report on serious transfusion related adverse events

NBA was awarded the Australian Government Comcover Award for Excellence in Risk Management for the NBSCP

2009-10

New CSL Australian Fractionation Agreement came into effect

NBA won a United Nations Public Service Award in the Advancing Knowledge Management in Government category

2010-11

National rollout of BloodNet, an online web based blood ordering system

Release of the first module (Critical Bleeding/Massive Transfusion) of the Patient Blood Management (PBM) Guidelines

2011-12

Release of PBM Guidelines Module 2 Perioperative and Module 3 Medical

Second edition of the Criteria for the clinical use of Ig in Australia was published

2012-13

Release of PBM Guidelines Module 4 Critical Care

Inaugural National Blood Symposiums conducted in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide

2013-14

National rollout of MyABDR

Inaugural PBM Conference held in Perth

Immunoglobulin governance program and National Immunoglobulin Governance Advisory Committee (NIGAC) established

2014-15

NBA won ACT iAwards in three categories for innovation surrounding the development of BloodNet interfaces with health provider laboratory information systems

National Blood Symposium held in Brisbane, including the presentation of the inaugural National Blood Awards for Excellence in the Management of Blood

Release of PBM Guidelines Module 5 Obstetrics and Maternity

2015-16

A new Deed of Agreement was finalised with the Australian Red Cross Society for the provision of fresh blood products and plasma for fractionation supplied by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Release of PBM Guidelines Module 6 Neonatal and Paediatrics

Release of National Haemophilia Guidelines developed with the Australian Haemophilia Centre Directors' Organisation (AHCDO)

National Blood Sector Research and Development Pilot commenced

BloodSTAR launched for registration by hospitals and clinicians

2016-17

The Deed of Agreement with the Australian Red Cross Society for the provision of fresh blood products and plasma for fractionation supplied by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service implemented on 1 July 2016

BloodSTAR implemented in most states and territories

Round 2 of the National Blood Sector Research and Development Pilot commenced

Redevelopment of BloodNet commenced (BloodNet 5)

Negotiations to replace CSL Australian Fractionation Agreement commenced

2017-18

National Fractionation Agreement for Australia (NaFAA) commenced on 1 January 2018 and continues until 31 December 2026 subject to a review in 2022

National Blood Sector Research and Development Program continued with two further funding rounds

BloodSafe eLearning delivered more than 1 million courses and celebrated its ten year (10th) anniversary

Consultation for potential future arrangements for imported plasma and recombinant products completed

Limited interim arrangements for extended half-life clotting factor products

Redevelopment of BloodNet completed with go-live on 1 July 2018

2018-19

Implementation of redeveloped BloodNet on 1 July 2018

National implementation of BloodSTAR completed in all states and territories with NSW going live in October 2018

Interim access arrangements for extended half-life clotting factor products continued

Revised Criteria for the clinical use of intravenous immunoglobulin in Australia (the Criteria) implemented and available in BloodSTAR for users in all states and territories

National Blood Sector Research and Development Program continued and round four grant funding commenced

NBA organisation restructured and additional Deputy Chief Executive position filled

2019-20

Conclusion of the tender process for the supply of standard half-life and extended half‑life recombinant Factor VIII and Factor IX products

Finalisation of the first Health Technology Assessment for Immunoglobulin for the treatment of acquired hypogammaglobulinaemia secondary to haematological malignancies or post-haemopoietic stem cell transplantation

Review of the efficiency of Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

Consideration and review of the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Plasma Business Case proposal

National Blood Sector Research and Development Program continued and round four grant funding awarded

The emergence and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the responsibilities and operations of the NBA

The NBA received three prestigious awards, including the Prime Minister’s Silver Award for Excellence in Public Sector Management

 Snapshot of the blood sector in 2019-20. Donating. 519,259 Total active donors. 196,383 Number of plasmapheresis donors. 1,527,147 Blood donations. Collecting and processing. 803 Tonnes of plasma collected. 76 Fixed collection sites. 5 Manufacturing and testing sites. Ordering (BloodNet). 190,242 Number of BloodNET orders. 520 Average number of orders per day. 2,260,746 Number of units received by BloodNET facilities. 143 Laboratories interfaced with BloodNET. 99% National uptake on BloodNET fate module. Supplying. $651.50m Fresh blood components. $601.6m Plasma derived and recombinant products. $4.7m Diagnostic reagents. Key Achievements. Delivery of uninterrupted supply to meet clinical demand at a saving of $49 million. Close partnership with suppliers of blood and blood products to manage national blood arrangements during COVID-19 and without the need to activate the national blood supply contingency plan. Growth of immunoglobulin demand reduced to 6.7% in 2019-20 compared with long term annual growth rate of around 11%. Review of the operations of the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.
Issuing. 630,800 Units of red blood cells issued. 138,634 Units of platelets issued. 3,224,544 Grams domestic Ig issued. 3,785,633 Grams imported Ig issued. Managing. 6,681 Patients registered in ABDR. 6.7 days Average age of red blood cells at issue. 11,731 Discards of red blood cells. 4,516 Guideline publications distributed. 613,312 Registered users of Bloodsafe eLearning. Transfusing. 1,698 Patients receiving product for bleeding disorders. 20,578 Patients receiving Ig products. 1,214 Facilities issued blood in BloodNET. 298,083 Unique visitors to the NBA website. 99% Uptake on BloodNET fate module. Budgeting. $1,210.8m Government funding for product supply. $10m Operational funding. $49m Savings to governments. Key Achievements. Red Blood Cell wastage at 1.9%. National blood sector research and development program funding for round four awarded to researchers. Tender concluded for standard half-life and extended half-life clotting factor products. Prime Minister's award for excellence.