Cord blood banking service

When a baby is born and the umbilical cord is cut, the placenta and umbilical cord are normally thrown away. The blood that remains in the cord and the placenta contains stem cells. These stem cells can be collected without any risk to the mother and baby, and stored in case that child or another member of the family needs them in the future. The cord blood stem cells can be used today instead of bone marrow stem cells to treat blood cancers and genetic disorders.

Find out more about cord blood banking.

How does the service work?

Step 1

Simply call us or complete the online application form to be sent our application pack that you will need to complete and return to us.

Once you have returned the application pack to us they will be reviewed to ensure that the stem cells can be processed and stored and that you are eligible for our service.

For some conditions or diseases it is not recommended that the stem cells are collected or used to treat someone else (for allogeneic use). We will of course advise you if this is the case.

Step 2

Once your application has been approved, you will receive a phone call to take informed consent and to arrange to send you the cord blood stem cell collection kit.

You have to have a healthcare professional, a midwife or trained phlebotomist to collect the stem cells for you. If your midwife can’t do this for you, we will arrange for a trained phlebotomist to collect the stem cells for you.

Step 3

Once you baby has been born, the midwife has decided that you and your baby are OK and that it is safe to collect the cord blood, the healthcare professional (your doctor, midwife or phlebotomist) will collect the cord blood. They will also need to take a sample of your blood (a maternal blood sample) as it has to be tested to check that it is OK to store the cord blood stem cells.

Once the cord blood and the maternal blood sample have been collected packed up ready for collection by the courier, you simply call us and we will arrange to collect the cord stem cells from you to take them to our laboratory for processing and storage.

Don’t worry, the kit contains all the instructions for the healthcare professional on how to collect and pack up the cord stem cells and what you need to do once your baby has been born.

Step 4

Once the stem cells have been successfully processed and stored at our laboratory, we will send you all of your results. Your baby’s stem cells are then stored for 25 years. The cells cannot be released without the written consent from the mother (the legal guardian) or the child once they are of legal age.

Should you require them in the future you simply contact us we will take care of the rest for you.

Have a question? Take a look at our frequently asked questions page.

Do I qualify?

Our charity offers a fully funded umbilical cord blood banking service to anyone who is;

  • in receipt of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, or Universal Credit

and meet one of the following criteria:

  • The stem cells from your baby, could be used to treat your baby, or another member of the family, for a medically proven treatment. A specialist’s recommendation would be necessary.
  • there is any cancer in the immediate family.

For more information please read our approval policy.

Please note: We are currently not able to accept applications from Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man.

Read Model Cell Biobank stories

Read real-life stories of families who have used our cord blood banking service.

Our partner

Our charity has chosen Biovault Technical (Biovault) as its partner to procure, process and store cord stem cells under its Human Tissue Authority licence. Biovault has a strong reputation for standards it applies to the storage and processing of stem cells derived from umbilical cord and peripheral blood, bone marrow, now extending to many types of tissues for human application or transplant.

Biovault not only works to the highest standards, it also has an ethical approach which aligns with our charity, something we are proud of. For more information go to

Registered charity number 1161622 (England & Wales), SC046106 (Scotland), Company Limited by guarantee Registered number 09481278 © Leukaemia & Myeloma Research UK 2019