Patients who require a blood test are expected to have the sample taken at their GP surgery, unless hospital phlebotomy services are required, in a bid to minimise waiting times and allow for social distancing.
From Monday (June 14), if a patient needs to visit the hospital to have a blood sample taken, the GP surgery will provide them with a phone number to book an appointment at the hospital.
Any patients required to have a blood test as part of ongoing investigations or treatment at the hospital, for example as an outpatient, can choose to book an appointment or attend as a ‘walk-in’. The new appointment system is for those being referred from external healthcare partners such as a GP practice.
Kimberley Garnett, transfusion manager and phlebotomy manager for Path Links, said: “Many of our patients needing a blood sample taking are suitable to have this carried out at their GP surgery. For those who need hospital phlebotomy services, this new system will minimise waiting times, allow for social distancing and make sure the outpatient service runs as efficiently as possible.”
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust runs hospitals in Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole, as well as community services in North Lincolnshire. Over the last year, both Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals have introduced a similar appointment system.
Kimberley added: “We understand this change will benefit some more than others and we hope our patients will support us by making an appointment before attending.
“Inevitably there will be some patients who have already been directed to visit us without making an appointment. Our team will try to accommodate walk-ins where possible while patients get used to the new appointment system. However, if our waiting area becomes too busy, we may need to turn people away and offer them an appointment on another day.”
For hospital phlebotomy opening times, please visit: www.nlg.nhs.uk/services/pathology/