A new blood plasma donation centre will open in Bolton as the world's largest plasma trial for Covid-19 expands.

NHS Blood and Transplant will open the centre 'in the next few weeks', although the venue has not yet been announced.

It's one of 14 new plasma donation centres opening to support two coronavirus treatment trials.

People in Bolton who have had Covid-19 are being urged to register as donors.

Professor David Roberts, NHSBT associate medical director for blood donation, and also one of the trial’s principal investigators, said: “We have so far seen a fantastic response from the public.

"We would love to see people in Bolton offering to donate so we can book them into donation appointments now. Donation is safe and easy, and you could save lives.”

The antibody-rich plasma of people who have had coronavirus can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response. The antibodies could slow or stop the virus spreading, which could save lives, the NHS says. More than 1500 donations of Covid-19 convalescent plasma have been taken in Greater Manchester. Hospitals in Bolton have transfused around 18 patients.

NHSBT currently collects plasma in 28 areas and Bolton is one of 14 chosen for the expansion of autumn and winter because it has a significant number of potential donors.

Donation takes about 45 minutes. The whole visit – including the donation, snacks and checks - takes about 1 hour 15 minutes. Your body usually replaces the plasma you’ve donated in 24-48 hours.

If you’ve had confirmed coronavirus or the symptoms, you can volunteer to donate plasma at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk