Eight staff at Napier's blood donor centre have been told they will be made redundant or offered redeployment.
New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) yesterday confirmed its decision to close the centre and introduce a regular mobile collection service for donors.
The move follows a proposal last month by NZBS to close the Napier centre and a consultation period with affected staff and their unions.
The Wellesley Rd donor centre was anticipated to close at the end of November, with staff members forced to look for work.
Senior nurse Richard McGrath said it was an emotional time after working at the centre for 13 years. He is the longest serving staff member.
"We are pretty upset about it, but we are starting to come to grips with what's happened and why it's happened.
"Most of the team has been here for seven years plus, but they [NZBS] have been really good to us so far and have talked to us about redeployment opportunities," he said.
"There's nothing more to it really, these things happen. A door closes and another opens, hopefully."
The centre is one of two nationwide that will make the transition from a fixed site collection facility to a mobile donor collection service.
Chief executive Fiona Ritsma met staff yesterday to inform them of the outcome of the consultation period.
"Our priority at this time is to help the staff at the Napier Donor Centre seek new employment," she said.
"This is not something that in any way reflects on the way in which the staff or the centre operate, and the decision to move to a regular mobile collection service is due to factors beyond their control.
"Those staff are highly valued and we are committed to supporting them in every way possible.
"We have an obligation to provide the most efficient and cost-effective service for all New Zealanders. A decline in demand for red blood cells from district health boards has made it necessary for NZBS to realign its blood collections to match the change in demand, hence the reduction in the number of fixed site donor centres around the country.
"Donors in Hawke's Bay will be able to continue to donate at regular mobile blood drives and can plan their donation well in advance, thanks to the appointment system.
"Over 50 per cent of all donations across New Zealand are already collected via mobile blood drives. The donation system and the quality of care remains the same."
A Hawke's Bay DHB spokeswoman said the closure would not affect the board's blood supply as all donated blood was stored nationally.
"The effect on the DHB is zero. However, the blood donor centre is a sub-tenant of the Wellesley Rd Health Centre."
She said the DHB is the tenant and was working on upgrading the building and health services provided from there for the people of Napier. Any change to the tenanting of the building would be incorporated into that upgrade.
"We will be looking at a number of different options as to how we can use the space."
While the demand for red blood cells has declined, the demand for other blood products such as platelets and plasma is constant, requiring about 3000 donations a week.
NZBS encourages donors across the country to continue to make appointments to donate.