SQUEAMISH patients are in good hands when they give blood in Haxby - the person taking it has been in their position many times.

Val Kennedy, phlebotomist at the Haxby Group Practice, York, has been giving blood for more than 35 years and has just given her 50th donation.

A Blood Transfusion Service certificate showing her achievement is about to go up in her office, so patients can see that what they are going through is really nothing to complain about. Val, who lives in the village, said: "I know I've taken a lot more than I've given, with an average of about 5,500 patients a year, but 50 pints is still quite an achievement. I started giving blood in 1966, and my blood group's quite rare so I kept doing it. Some of the people who come in here are extremely squeamish, but the certificate will show them that I've been through the same thing many times."

Updated: 11:07 Wednesday, May 21, 2003