The NHS has been praised for responding to a racist comment on Twitter regarding black blood donors.
NHS Blood and Transplant, which has a centre in Bristol, tweeted an appeal for more black donors to help black people with sickle cell disease in June earlier this year.
With more than 2,000 retweets at the time, most of the replies were supportive of the campaign – except for one user, who replied on Thursday, October 12, with: “If we deport all blacks, this will stop being an issue.”
The NHS subsequently responded with: “OR.. we could just deport you.”
Although the offending tweet has since been removed, the reply from the NHS has been seen, read and shared across the world – with users quick to praise the organisation for its handling of the abusive comment.
Robin William Scott posted: “I’m going to go and give blood asap and I want to formally record that I’m doing it because of this tweet.”
The Twitter user also kindly offered to buy the author of the tweet a beer “or five”.
Meredith said: “Yes @GiveBloodNHS. Making my booking right now!! Stand up for what’s right.”
Katie Vale wrote: “Dear NHS social media team, well played!!! Oh I love how Twitter allows the NHS to have a public voice! #boom.”
And Georgie Agass added: “I didn’t think @GiveBloodNHS could be any more awesome, and then they go do this. Fabulous.”
Black donors are more likely to have rare blood and tissue types and black patients are more likely to require these rare types, a NHS Blood and Transplant spokesman told the BBC .
People from black communities can also be susceptible to conditions such as sickle cell disease, which leave them requiring regular transfusions.
In these cases, blood from donors with a similar ethnic background can provide the best match and better outcomes in the long term.
“Donors from all backgrounds are fundamental to our life-saving work,” the spokesperson said.
“There is no place for any kind of racism within our online communities and we do not tolerate abusive and offensive behaviour.”
A spokesman for the NHS added: “There is no place for any kind of racism within our online communities.”
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