Croydon Hospital has struck a £2 million deal to benefit from new mothers who donate their umbilical cord blood for life-saving transplants, research or storage.
The hospital will work with Precious Cells Miracle charity, to help with research and a “nominal” share of any private deals agreed with parents wanting to bank their child’s stem cells in case they develop a serious illness in later life.
Croydon is the first NHS trust to benefit financially from allowing a charity access to cord blood and placentas from new mothers.
About 80 per cent of pregnant women due to give birth, have so far agreed to donate the afterbirth for free.
Following a child’s birth, the cord and placenta are passed to the charity’s lab workers waiting outside the delivery room.
It is drained of blood and taken to the charity’s laboratory in Uxbridge, where the stem cells are separated.
Evening Standard health editor Ross Lydall has been researching the subject.