Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Have you read the HTA’s ‘Cord blood banking: a guide for parents?’

Issue date: 
27 July 2017

Are you considering banking your baby’s umbilical cord blood? Have you come across our cord blood-banking guide before? 

As the regulator for human tissue, cells, and organs, the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) licenses both public and private cord blood banks in the UK. We make sure that establishments who collect, test, process, storage, distribute, import, and export cord blood, do so in a safe and well-managed way.

In February 2016, we published a guide to help parents to make informed choices about cord blood banking. The guide, which offers information about donating cord blood to a public bank and banking cord blood privately, was developed in collaboration with clinicians, consultants, and other experts in this area.

You can find a link to the guide here.

To help us make sure our guide is helpful and contains the information that is important to you, we want to hear from anyone has either already banked cord blood in a public or private bank, or would consider doing so in the future.

We also want to hear from people who have read or come across our guide before and to let us know whether you found it helpful. Your feedback will help us understand how much parents now know about cord blood banking and help us ensure the guidance we share sets out what is involved and what it might mean for you and your child in the future. You can share your feedback by filling out this short survey before 15 September 2017.

Sarah Bedwell, Director of Regulation said: “As the UK regulator for cord blood banks it is very important to us that parents have clear and accessible guidance so that they can make informed choices about banking and donating. We launched our cord blood guide over a year ago, and want to make sure that it still sets out the information parents need to make an informed decision. We encourage anyone who has used our guide, or anyone who is considering banking  umbilical cord blood to complete our survey.”



Cord blood banking: Umbilical cord blood, commonly referred to as ‘cord blood’, is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following childbirth. Cord blood contains stem cells, which have the potential to develop into different cell types. Cord blood can be used to treat and cure many life-threatening diseases and there are other potential uses currently under investigation. Cord blood may be collected at the time of birth by public or private cord blood banks, and stored so that it is available for the potential future treatment of the child or another person.

The HTA’s role in cord blood banking: The HTA is the regulator for human tissue, cells and organs. The HTA licenses both public and private cord blood banks in the UK. Since 5 July 2008, the HTA has regulated the collection, testing, processing, storage, distribution, import and export of cord blood. In the UK these ‘licensable activities’ can only lawfully take place under an HTA licence.

About the HTA’s cord blood guide: Between October 2014 and February 2015, the HTA undertook a survey into the public understanding and experience of cord blood banking. The survey received over 120 responses from members of the public. The guide was developed and launched in response to survey conducted by the HTA last year, which revealed a clear need for more information on banking cord blood.

News type: 
Last updated on: 24 Aug 2017