Cell banking FAQ’s

For information and advice on cell banking have a read through our advice panel articles

Storing your child’s stem cells with Future Health is a simple process and our customer care team will take care of everything for you.

Simply contact us on 0115 967 7707 or email custcare@fhbb.com and we will send you an information pack and an agreement to complete.

We will then send you a collection kit, allocate your health care professional for the collection (if required) and write to your hospital to inform them of your request to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.

We offer a comprehensive range of stem cell banking services.

To help you choose the perfect service for your family, we offer both a Premium and a Standard processing package.


Premium (Volume reduction processing)

This means your sample is processed and stored using the volume reduction processing method and your sample is ready to be used in treatment with no additional processing cost or delays at a later stage. It is also the industry preferred method of storing cord blood all over the world for both private and public banks including the NHS and Anthony Nolan Trust.


Standard (Whole blood processing)

This means the whole sample is stored. However, should you require your sample for treatment in the future, further processing will be required at an additional cost, before it can be used. It is also less commonly used in treatment.

On receipt of your paperwork and deposit payment, we will arrange delivery of your collection kit

When it arrives, simply keep it near your maternity bag and take it with you on the big day. Where the phlebotomy service is selected, we will also arrange this for you. You will receive an email with the contact details of your assigned phlebotomists and an introductory phone call too.

When the big day arrives you will need to call your phlebotomist (you can call them any time of day or night) as soon as your labour starts and then keep them updated. When you go to hospital remember to take your collection kit.

Once your baby has been safely delivered, your assigned healthcare professional or phlebotomist will collect your baby’s cord blood, cord tissue and the maternal bloods before placing them in the collection kit.

When the phlebotomist hands you back the collection kit, call us between 8am and 8pm (7 days a week) on 0800 954 5335 to request a courier collection.

We will process and safely store your samples, notify you of the results by phone, confirm your results in writing within 3 weeks and issue your storage certificate.

The vast majority of hospitals in the UK allow private stem cell collection

To see if your hospital allows collections click here.

Yours samples will be transported using a nationally recognised medical courier who will collect your baby’s cord blood and tissue from the hospital or your home and deliver it straight to our laboratory 365 days a year.

All collection kits are designed to maintain room temperature (do not put them in a fridge or freezer) to keep the sample in optimum condition until it reaches our laboratory. All collection kits include a gel pack which ensures the sample maintains the required temperature during shipping.

Stem cells are the building blocks of life, they create a direct link between your child’s good health at the time they are born and their good health in the future

Should your child face any of a vast range of health issues in later life, stem cells may be the key to repairing and restoring their health.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells are already being used in the treatment of over 85 medical conditions including leukaemias, anaemias and thalassemias and the list is constantly growing. Cord blood stem cell collection is an incredibly simple process in which these unique cells are collected from the umbilical cord once the baby has been safely delivered.

Umbilical cord tissue cells can be collected at the same time as cord blood stem cells. This process simply involves taking a sample of the cord tissue and then processing and storing at our laboratory in Nottingham.

To date over 40,000 cord blood samples have been used in clinical applications all over the world since 1988

It is advisable to store samples for each child individually to ensure you have a cord blood unit that is a 100% match for that child should they need it

There is also a 25% chance that a cord blood sample belonging to one child will be a match for a sibling though.

It is highly likely that your sample will be perfectly safe and useable for a much longer period than this. At Future Health, we think it is more ethical to offer to store your sample for 25 years initially, but of course, we will contact you towards the end of this storage period to offer you the chance to extend it further.

We will process your samples generally within 24 hours of the collection

Our laboratory is open for processing 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year, ensuring all samples are processed well within our regulatory guidelines, giving clients the best possible results.

Once you have decided which level of service you’ll require, we’ll ask for the initial setup fee

See our prices page to confirm your order. From then, no further payments will be taken until after your baby is born, and we have successfully processed and stored your samples.

Following confirmation, you’re able to pay in instalments over a period of up to 12 months.

Compare cord blood banks

Both our Premium (Volume Reduced) and Standard (Whole Blood) cord blood packages make provision for future scientific development by storing more than just HSC’s

If you opt for our Premium service, we will store what we call the buffy coat layer (this layer contains all stem cells found in the cord blood). This is likely to contain other types of stem cells like mesenchymal stem cells and VSEL’s which could be of benefit in the future as clinical applications progress with scientific research.

Most often, a phlebotomist will be required to collect your cord blood and tissue samples at the hospital and we will arrange this for you

However, in some cases, your private consultant or midwife may be able to collect the samples for you.

No

Whether you opt for a natural delivery or caesarean section, managed or physiological third stage of labour, there should be no problem collecting your baby’s stem cells. For this reason, we do not recommend your birth plan is altered or compromised in any way.

The care provided to you and your baby at such a critical time is of the utmost importance so we would not do anything to jeopardize this

It is therefore standard practice to only collect the stem cells once the third stage of labour has been successfully completed and both you and baby are safe and comfortable.

Recent guidelines suggest hospitals will allow around one minute of delayed cord clamping

Anything above this may start to impact on the amount of cord blood available, but we would always encourage you to follow your birth plan. We will simply collect what cord blood is available on the day and if after processing, the stem cell count does not meet our minimum storage criteria, you will not be charged anything further.

It is also worth noting, if you opt for a physiological third stage, we are still able to collect the cord tissue.

A typical sample of cord blood will contain a volume in the region of 20ml to 60ml although this can differ dramatically due to the size of the placenta and circumstances at birth

We can process any sample, though we do set a stringent success criteria based on the number of stem cell within it. The sample must contain a minimum number of CD34+ stem cells in order for us to deem it successful and suitable for long term storage. If your cord blood sample does not meet this requirement, you will have the option to decline storage and we will not charge you anything further.

There are several hospitals in the UK where you can choose to donate your cord blood stem cells into the public banking system

Your cord blood stem cells could then be used to treat someone else around the world. However, you will no longer have direct access to this precious sample. For more information you can visit NHSBT or the Anthony Nolan Trust websites.

Yes. We understand expecting multiple babies is both daunting and expensive!

At Future health, we specialise in multiple births and we offer special discounts for twins and triplets. Please call us to obtain a quote.

Yes.

We welcome back all of our repeat clients with a 20% discount from the standard service price. Please call us for a quote!

Once your cord blood and cord tissue samples have been successfully processed and stored you will receive confirmation in writing along with your storage certificate containing the unique identification number for your samples, the stem cell (CD34+ and CD45+) counts, your maternal blood testing results and microbiology results.

No.

We will not charge you for the release and transportation of your sample (anywhere in the world) if your family needs it for use in a treatment.

There are currently many clinical trials for conditions such as:

Cerebral palsy | Autism | Spinal cord injury

Hearing loss | Crohn’s disease | Diabetes

MS (multiple sclerosis) | Strokes | Heart disease

HIV | Alzheimer’s | Liver cirrhosis | Arthritis

It is likely that standardised treatments for these conditions could become clinically available in the not too distant future.

Wherever you live in the world, you can rest assured that your stem cells will remain safely stored with us here in the UK at Future Health Biobank

If you do move, please remember to let us know your new address and contact information so we can keep our records up to date.

We hope you never need to use your sample, but if you do, we will organise everything for you

After arranging the consent papers with you, we will work with your doctor to arrange the safe delivery of your sample to the transplant facility on the given date and time.

Umbilical cord blood stem cell collection is a simple, non-invasive procedure

Once you have ordered your stem cell collection with our customer care team, we will post out a collection kit to your home. This kit needs to be kept safe, away from any radiators and ideally with your overnight maternity bag. A phlebotomist will be allocated to you and will be the person that collects your stem cells at the hospital. They will give you a courtesy call to introduce themselves.

Once you go into labour, simply take the kit to the hospital with you and let your phlebotomist know that you are on your way. Once your baby has been safely delivered, the phlebotomist will extract the cord blood. This is a very quick and non-invasive procedure and won’t interrupt your precious time with your baby. The phlebotomist will then securely package the stem cells into the provided collection kit.

Then all that is required is that yourself or your partner calls us to arrange collection of the kit. The sample is then delivered directly to our laboratory in Nottingham and will be processed and prepared for storage. Our customer care team will then be in touch will a follow-up call with the results and status of your sample.

The short answer is yes we do!

When the company first opened its doors in 2002, we had already installed the most technologically-advanced laboratory at our headquarters in Nottingham, the heart of the UK. Being a company based on quality, we ensured that we had the most up-to-date facilities. The following ten years led to a great deal of success for Future Health Biobank, with our international expansion rapidly progressing we built our second laboratory in Switzerland. This new addition meant that we could serve our customers quicker whilst offering a location storage choice, something that no other stem cell bank could offer.


Various storage temperatures

We are proud to be able to offer an array of storage temperatures; -20 degrees, -80 degrees, -196 degrees, liquid nitrogen and vapour phase nitrogen. This ensures that we can successfully store all samples at the required condition.

Future Health Biobank was incorporated in 2002, following 3 years of intensive scientific research

We are proud to be one of the longest running family banks in Europe as well as by far the largest stem cell bank in the UK. We have now processed and stored more than 125,000 cord stem cell samples from 75 countries around the world which is more than all of the other UK stem cell banks combined.

Cord blood contains HSC’s (Haematopoietic stem cells) which are used in the treatment of blood related diseases such as leukaemia, anaemia and thalassemia

There have been over 40,000 lifesaving stem cell transplants, for 85 conditions, performed using these stem cells since 1988.

Cord tissue contains cells which are currently being used in over 300 clinical trials globally, including regenerative medical purposes and the treatment of life altering conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cerebral palsy.

All cord blood samples must be processed before storage, to ensure they are stabilised prior to cryopreservation in Liquid Nitrogen

During processing, each sample is condensed and split into multiple portions, meaning should you require your child stem cells in the future, only one segment needs to be used, leaving the rest intact for use in future treatments.

Each sample is processed individually by our highly experienced and qualified laboratory technician. We don’t use a fully automated system where multiple samples are processed simultaneously, as processing multiple samples at once could put your sample at risk of contamination.

Your child’s cord blood and cord tissue samples will be processed and stored at our specialised facility in Nottingham

We will NEVER send your samples to be stored by a third party, as we believe this can put your samples at unnecessary risk.

Each sample will be split into multiple portions within our specially designed double-wrapped casing before freezing, enabling your child’s sample to be used several times to treat life-threatening conditions, if required.

All of our storage tanks are individually alarmed and monitored 24/7, 365 days a year.

Each sample is protected by our insolvency protection scheme, meaning that in the highly unlikely event Future Health becomes insolvent, your sample will be transferred to another suitable HTA licensed facility in the UK, who will fulfil the terms of your original agreement

Each and every plan we offer is backed up by an insurance policy that will finance any actions that need to be taken.

All of our storage tanks are alarmed and monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can run without electricity for up to 5 days if required. If any of our storage tanks needed to be moved off site, they would be sent to another HTA licensed facility just 4 miles away.

Currently, stem cells from cord blood can be used to treat a wide host of conditions including:

Disorders of blood cell proliferation (Anaemia, platelet abnormalities and more)

Inherited immune system disorders (Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), Neutropenias and more)

Cancers (Leukaemia, Bone Marrow cancer and more)

Inherited Metabolic Disorders (Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) Storage Diseases, Leukodystrophy Disorders and more)

Inherited Disorders effecting the Immune System & Other Organs (Cartilage-Hair Hypoplasia, Gunther’s Disease)

Help and Advice

Hear from our customers

I spent time researching the scientific developments of stem cells and regenerative medicine. I felt that this precious source of stem cells was too valuable to throw away.
Although I was too late for the cord blood service with Leah, once I heard about the benefits of tooth stem cell banking, I knew it was an opportunity I did not want to miss.
Even though we didn't have any family health issues, I knew that if there was even the smallest chance this could save my child's life if they were to get sick, it was extremely worth doing, as no one knows what the future holds.

Gary Bateman

Leicestershire, July 2015

Sarah Carnelley

Nottingham, January 2015

Michelle Egan

Newcastle, January 2014