Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and the NBA

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood(Opens in a new tab/window) (Lifeblood) is the only supplier of fresh blood products in Australia. It is a division of the Australian Red Cross Society (the Australian Red Cross). The Australian Red Cross is a not-for-profit organisation.

Lifeblood collects by donation all blood used for medical purposes. It also supplies plasma to CSL Behring to create plasma-derived products.

The NBA doesn't supply blood products. We negotiate and manage contracts for the supply of blood and blood products and services in Australia, including with Lifeblood.

Find out more about suppliers and commercial supply contracts.

Deed of Agreement with Lifeblood

We have a Deed of Agreement (the deed) with the Australian Red Cross to secure fresh blood supplies from Lifeblood. The current agreement was signed in 2016. It is in place for 9 years, until 30 June 2025.

The deed sets a high-level framework for the supply of blood and blood products. It describes the blood supply and funding arrangements between us and the Australian Red Cross. This helps us maintain a safe and affordable supply of blood for Australia.

The deed covers the reasonable costs of Lifeblood in collecting, processing and supplying blood and services. This funding ensures blood and blood products can be provided at no cost to patients who need them.

Funding Lifeblood

We fund Lifeblood through our arrangement with the Australian, state and territory governments.

A Funding and Services Agreement (FSA) supports the Deed of Agreement. We agree to a new FSA every 3 years within the 9-year term of the deed. The current FSA runs from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025.

The FSA reflects the day-to-day operations of Lifeblood. It includes a group of National Service Requirements and Standards and Templates and an Output Based Funding Model (OBFM). These set the standards for Lifeblood to deliver its services in an efficient, timely and effective way.

The FSA is part of a set of planning and process documents linked to the deed. These include the governance arrangements, requirements, standards, processes and reporting that Lifeblood follows. Lifeblood is required to have a strategic plan, business plan and capital plan as part of the FSA.

The planning and process documents and time frames defining each part of Australia's blood supply arrangements.
Planning and process documents and time frames for funding Australia's blood supply

Under the FSA, we manage annual supply plans and budgets. We consult on these with the Australian, state and territory governments and suppliers, including Lifeblood. We develop a National Supply Plan and Budget (NSP&B) for the supply and demand of blood products and services for Australian Health Providers. The governments approve this budget as part of the process.

The OBFM guides a 3-year funding cycle for Lifeblood and the pricing of blood products. It outlines the terms and conditions of funding agreed between us and Lifeblood. Unit prices for blood products are set before each funding cycle.

We make the following types of payments to Lifeblood:

  • product price payments (including operating costs)
  • specified payments (including capital costs)
  • other payments.

You can find out more about Lifeblood's financial arrangements in its latest annual report(Opens in a new tab/window).

Cost of Lifeblood

Lifeblood's funding for 2022–23 was $A685.8 million.

This table shows how Lifeblood has continuously improved its operations over time and made them more efficient.

Lifeblood has returned operating savings to the Australian, state and territory governments as a result. In 2022–23, Lifeblood returned an operating surplus of A$9.2 million to the governments.

Find out more about expenditure in our latest annual report.

Funding for Lifeblood, showing the growth and cost of fresh blood expenditure in Australia over a 10-year period since 2013
YearAmount (A$ million)% growth
6,883.52.4 (average)

Lifeblood's performance reporting

A Statement of Expectations (SoE) sets out how we expect Lifeblood to meet its responsibilities under the deed. It outlines the priorities and reasonable expectations that the Australian, state and territory governments have for Lifeblood. We develop an SoE with Lifeblood every 3 years.

We report on Lifeblood's performance against the SoE to the health ministers.

Lifeblood's business plan(Opens in a new tab/window) sets out its strategic objectives and performance measures. It reports against these in its annual report(Opens in a new tab/window).

Get in touch

If you have a query about fresh blood products in Australia, please contact us.

Last updated: 27 Mar 2024

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