Currently volunteers to the NHS Covid-19 Convalescent Plasma Donation programme can only donate at Belfast’s City Hospital.
Said the Foyle MLA: “The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) has starte collecting plasma from individuals who contracted and, subsequently recovered from COVID-19, to support clinical research trials.
“As part of the NHS Convalescent Plasma Programme, anyone who falls within this category and who has shared their contact details, will receive a text message inviting them to donate plasma.
“I have spoken with a number of constituents within Foyle who have received the invite and are more than willing to get involved.
“However, as it stands the only donation site in the North is at NIBTS Headquarters at Belfast City Hospital.
“Given the extremely high levels of infection in the Derry/ Strabane, among the worst affected areas across the UK, it would therefore stand to reason that a donation facility would be instated here.
“I appealed to Minister Swann for such a provision, however, he has denied my reasonable request stipulating reasons which I cannot fathom; including lack of suitable venues and specialist staff.
“At a time when the NHS are appealing for volunteers for to help respond to the increasing need for treatment, a donation provision centre within the North West would have proven extremely beneficial.
“Volunteers cannot be expected to travel to Belfast, particularly when current guidance limits unnecessary travel.
“I am disappointed but not surprised with Minister Swann’s reply.
“Choosing not to implement additional donation facilities the Department is doing itself a real disservice,” added Mr Durkan.