Model Cell Biobank Client Approval Policy

Leukaemia & Myeloma Research UK


LMRUK provides a free stem cell storage service to qualifying families, “Model Cell Biobank”, to promote the concept of biological insurance at a national level.

The charity has introduced selection criteria for applicants to ensure that qualifying applicants with the greatest need are given priority in the section process.
The number of approved clients for the service depends on monthly quotas set by the Internal Financial and Fundraising Controls Board.
Clients must be in receipt of housing benefit/council tax support/ reductions scheme/universal support to receive full funding to participate in the Service, and the income for each adult in a client’s household (excluding income from state benefits) (Total Household Income) must be less than or equal to £40,000 to receive a contribution towards funding participation in the Service. Click here to view the threshold table.

All clients must ensure that;

  • That they have a medical need for the cord blood stem cells that has been recommended by a medical professional


  • That there has been cancer in the immediate family.

Purpose Of This Document

The aim of this policy is to ensure that:

  • All applications are reviewed in accordance with the principles of equity, impartiality, transparency and personal disinterest of decision makers;
  • Eligible expectant mothers who are unable to afford to bank their child’s stem cells privately benefit from the service being offered by the Charity.

Who Can Apply To The ‘Model Cell Biobank’ Service?

Every expectant mother who lives in UK and qualifies for the umbilical cord blood storage service can apply to use the Model Cell Biobank service.

Qualifying criteria were developed in collaboration with the medical professionals and The Internal Financial and Fundraising Controls Board of LMRUK and are approved by Board of Trustees of the Charity. Qualifying criteria can be reviewed and changed by the Board of Trustees if there are any scientific, financial or other reasons.

The Review Process

To ensure the equal, objective and transparent review, there is a three-step review process for all applications received by the charity.

Step 1

All applicants must meet the selection criteria for the charity and will only go forward in the selection process provided all documents are fully completed by the applicant and the supporting documentation received.

Step 2

Smart Cells as the LMRUK partner who provides the processing and storage service of the umbilical cord blood stem cells makes the initial review of the application based on the completed Maternal & Behavioural Health Questionnaire.

Step 3

Assuming that the charity receives more applications in a month than it can fund, it will accept clients on a ‘first come, first served basis’. The group of applicants that is prioritised is the group who have a child or another member of a family with a medical need that requires a stem cell transplant.

The Client Manager sends an email with the client application and supporting documents to for the charity’s LMRUK Medical Board, Internal Financial and Fundraising Controls Board and Trustee board to review the application.

The Internal Financial and Fundraising Controls Board of LMRUK integrates Smart Cells’ and LMRUK Medical Boards assessment with the financial resources of the charity. The Internal Financial and Fundraising Controls Board (IFFCB) plans and approves monthly quotas in advance.

Due to the complex nature of the selection process, applicants must apply at least 4 weeks before their expected due date. Therefore where possible, if the charity receives a greater number of applications than it can fund in one month, it may be possible to transfer some applicants over to the following month to ensure as many applicants can be serviced as possible.

The selection process for applicants is reviewed once a year unless there is a change in the scientific evidence or financial reasons that may alter the selection criteria.

The Approval Process

The Internal Financial and Fundraising Controls Board (IFFCB) presents all the eligible applicants to the Board of Trustees for the final approval or rejection. The Board of Trustees has ultimate responsibility for the approval process, however it does not have the right to approve individuals that are rejected by Smart Cells due to the medical reasons.

Following approval by the Board of Trustees the successful and unsuccessful applicants are informed initially by phone call followed up by a letter from the Charity.

Conflict Of Interest

To ensure decisions and decision making processes are free from personal bias and not unfairly to favour any individual connected with the charity, LMRUK is committed to its Conflict of Interest Policy. The Client Approval Policy should be read in conjunction with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

All members of the charity who review applications must declare any issues (whether academic, scientific, financial, business, personal or otherwise) that might give rise to any conflict of interest. The reviewer must not assess the application or take part in any discussions regarding the application.

Timeframe For Client Approval Policy

The applicant approval process has to be completed in reasonable timeframe due to the unique service offered. The cord blood stem cells can only be collected at the time of birth of the applicants child. The application is accepted by the charity’s if it is received at least 4 weeks before the applicants expected due date.

Interaction With Internal Control Systems

Client Approval Policy forms part of LMRUK’s system of internal controls and should be read in conjunction with LMRUK’s other policies – the Data Protection Policy, Conflict of Interest Policy, Financial Risk Policy, Risk Assessment Policy and other internal control procedures (e.g.Complaints Procedure).

Policy adopted on 20.02.2019, next due for review on 19.02.2020 and then every year.

Registered charity number 1161622 (England & Wales), SC046106 (Scotland), Company Limited by guarantee Registered number 09481278 © Leukaemia & Myeloma Research UK 2024