This section provides help for visitors to the NHS Blood and Transplant websites.

Search tips

Use the tips in this section to make the most of our search engine and get better results.

Help viewing PDFs

Useful tips to ensure you get the most from PDFs and the free Reader program. Topics covered include accessibility, troubleshooting and searching files.


Accessibility tips and features on the website.

Site map

An overview of the websites main areas.

Technical help

If you experience technical problems while visiting the site, the information in this section may help you.

Where is the search function?

The search box is at the top-left of each screen and can be used to search all of this website. There is also an advanced search option which allows you to search within all of the NHS Blood and Transplant sites. To search all sites, click in the empty circle that says "All NHSBT sites".

How do I get better results?

Searching for a single word may not give good results. The more information you provide, the better your results will be. For example, searching for a phrase such as "donate blood" will give better results than searching for "blood". In addition, making your search broader by using the "All NHSBT sites" option will further improve the quantity of your search results.

Is the search engine case sensitive?

No. You can type your search query in lower case, upper case or a combination of both and it will not affect your search results.

Help viewing PDFs

To view any file in Portable Document Format (PDF) downloaded from this site, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader. The programme is freely available if you do not already have it.

Select a section

Searching pdfs
Get Adobe Acrobat


Is there anything I can do to make documents more accessible?

Useful information about services to make Acrobat documents more accessible is provided on Adobe's website. You can also find more about the accessibility features on our Accessibility page.

Adobe Acrobat support (opens new window)
Adobe pages on accessibility (opens new window)
Accessibility (opens new window)


Sometimes a PDF will open but only a blank page is visible

This may be because the view is zoomed into a blank section of the document. Use the dropdown view menu (bottom left hand corner of the screen) to select a suitable view - 100% or 'Fit Width' are usually best.

Searching PDFs

How to search within a PDF

When you click on the link to a PDF, it will open in your browser window. A toolbar will appear below the address bar, featuring a number of tools to help you view and search the document. Running your mouse over the icons, without clicking, will tell you what each of them does. Especially useful is the Find Tool (a pair of binoculars) - click on the Find icon to search the document for a word or phrase. Click the "next" icon to search for further occurrences of the word or phrase.

Get Adobe Acrobat Reader

How do I get the Reader program?

You can download the Adobe Reader free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files from the link below.

Adobe Reader


NHSBT seeks to be a service that understands the needs and aspirations of people with disabilities and will ensure that there is no discrimination on the grounds of disability to members of public whom we serve. We are committed to equality of opportunity for all and aims to provide access for people with disabilities.

NHSBT is committed to making itself accessible to all elements of the community and will endeavour to provide appropriate facilities and assistance for people with disabilities in order that they receive our highest standards of service.

Standards Compliance

This website has been developed with the intention of making it accessible to as many visitors as possible. We have achieved this by adhering to W3C guidelines and ensuring that the site has been structured in a logical way. This site also strives, wherever posible, to meet the current COI advice for managing, improving and marketing UK public sector websites.

File downloads

All files that are available for download via this website have been converted to the Portable Document Format (PDF). These files can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat reader which is a free resource that is available from the Adobe website.


We have used Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to control the visual layout of the site. If your browser does not support CSS the site or you choose to over-ride our style sheet with browser settings, the site is still readable/usable.

We use relative font sizes which means you can also override the default text sizes and set your own via the browser.

In Internet Explorer

Select the View menu, then Text Size, then a setting from the list of five sizes.

In FireFox

Select the View menu, then Text Size, then either Increase or Decrease from the menu list.

In Safari

Select the View menu, then either Make Text Bigger or Make Text Smaller.

In Opera

This website has not been built to support the Opera browser so some elements of the site may not be displayed as intended.

In all browsers

Holding down the CTRL button and scrolling the mouse-wheel up and down will zoom the entire site up or down in size accordingly.


All images include the "ALT" attribute.


The primary sections of the site are always available via the main navigation menu that runs along the top of the page. To support the navigation, a sitemap has been provided.

Site Map

View the sitemap

Technical help


How do I easily print a web page from this site?

Please use the "print this page" feature available on the bottom left of all our pages.

Why don't web pages print properly?

Some users may experience printing problems. To minimise these problems, change your page orientation to 'landscape' through the 'page set-up' option on the file menu. Printing from the file menu, rather than the icon, may also help.

I still can't print properly - what else should I try?

If you use Internet Explorer 5.5 service pack 1, web pages may not print properly. This version of Internet Explorer does not always print columns of text the way that they appear on screen. For example, some text may overlap or the columns may print out underneath each other, rather than side by side.

How do I know if my computer uses Internet Explorer 5.5 service pack 1?

Go to the 'Help' option on the Internet Explorer menu bar and choose 'About Internet Explorer'. Check the text next to 'version' and 'update version' in the pop-up box. If the version number starts with 5.5 and the update version starts with 'SP1', your computer uses Internet Explorer 5.5 service pack 1.

How can I solve this problem?

Internet Explorer 5.5 service pack 1 is no longer supported by Microsoft so the problem will not be fixed. Instead, you will have to upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer.


What is a plug-in?

Plug-ins are programs that enable you to use multimedia applications (e.g. sound, video etc.) on the web.

Do I need plug-ins to use the NHSBT website?

Some areas of the site use flash technology and a plug-in will be required to view these elements, however most browsers will already have the plug-in installed. If you do not have the flash plug-in installed, an image based alternative will be displayed. Some areas of the site have audio or video files but the information they contain is provided in alternative formats – for example, in text or through photographs.

Still need more help?

If this help section does not give you the answer to your specific question please send us an email and we will try to resolve your issue.