No more urgent blood tests apparently!

They've closed the majority of walk-in blood test clinics in my area. There is one open but it's 16 miles away, thankfully I drive but I know others do not or cannot. Running a car is not exactly cheap either! Anyway, last week, I was asked to get an urgent blood test. I phoned every blood clinic but they were booked up for 2-3 weeks. I decided that I had no choice but to drive to the last remaining walk-in clinic and wait. They told me that it's closing in a few weeks as the demand is just too high. I asked them what happens to people who need urgent bloods and they said that is for the doctors and consultants to work out! This is extremely worrying information about how the NHS is coping with increasing demand.

12 Replies

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  • I know that in the area where I live you can go to a Sainsbury's and have bloods taken for NHS hospitals / GPs

  • Oh what a good idea. This would be very handy for people, like me, who work busy jobs that are not near to their homes.

  • Thank goodness I live in Scotland!!! M x

  • Here in Edinburgh we just go to GPs for bloods

  • I have huge difficulty having my bloods taken. Each month, I face 2 - 3 return trips to my GP practice for different people to 'have a go'. This month has been no exception except they have failed to draw blood from anywhere despite repeated attempts since mid October. Ordinarily, I would be sent to the walk-in phlebotomy clinic at the hospital but the hospital has just withdrawn that service because neither party is prepared to cover the cost and I'm not allowed to go there. Where does that leave me? No one at my surgery has an answer at the moment . . .

    Scary times ahead folks

  • Clare, do they use a butterfly needle? They are expensive which is why they aren't used often but it used to be really hard to get blood from me and a butterfly was on the way. It is ridiculous though. I wonder if people who need urgent bloods will start taking themselves to A&E, thus putting pressure on another part of the NHS.

    I agree that there are scary times ahead; for health and social care.

  • Yes, we motored through several butterflies and bottles today. Hands and feet have all been spiked. Everyone's had a go! I will have to put the ball in Rheumatology's court and leave them to pull rank where they feel appropriate.

    I like the idea of popping into Sainsburys too!

  • Sorry I was so flippant.... had a bad week! I too have problems, noone at my surgery can get blood from me, my gp turns white at the thought. So I go to my hospital, where one nurse can get it, from a tiny vein in the back of my hand. I have to go at a time when there are doctors there as well, in case, but they aren't any more able. I have to go on a Tuesday, although booked in on a Monday, because the nurse doesn't work on a Monday

    When I had my knee replacement, they went through 7 individuals having goes, until they brought in a doctor from another department who had a reputation for getting blood from a stone, and she got it. After that my bloods were only done when she was available.

    I have been pricked, prodded, skewered, cut in almost every part of my anatomy, so I am totally sympathetic to anyone in the same position.

    Some tips, the blue butterflies are the finest, make sure you are well hydrated, keep warm, and keep still!!!

    If only people realised the consequences when all these peripheral areas are privatised. So I really am glad that I live in Scotland, where the NHS is still a public service.

    Good luck! M x

  • "It's closing in a few weeks as the demand is just too high"... What kind of madness is THAT?!

    I hadn't realised there were these problems... I just pop to my local hospital for blood tests; there are usually queues but I can always get one within 1-2 hours.

  • When I recently went for a blood test at the walk in centre there was a 2/3 hour wait. So I popped to the blood clinic at the hospital next door. After waiting 10 minutes I was called in. The lady said, do you know we are not allowed to take these any more? Because the gp was requesting tests, it should have been done either at the surgery or walk in centre, but if the consultant at hospital requests it, the hospital can do it! This apparently has happened all because ACE didn't renew the contract with hospitals in may this year. Fortunately she did take my blood as they were making allowances for people that don't know!

    It does make you wonder, how much is the nhs under pressure.

  • This is exactly the same situation as I experience. Today, Rheumatology have over-ruled and my bloods are all to be taken in the outpatients dept at the hospital from now on by the only phlebotomist who can access my tricky veins. It means a 20mile round trip every time but it is at least a solution and I feel very relieved.

  • Never had any of this to contend with apart from dodgy veins. In my old island home the GP would ask me to book appointments with the practice nurse in advance. If it was urgent he or she would tell me to get in at 8am before surgery started or would squeeze me in between appointments. They did dread my veins and always asked where others had trod successfully before them!

    At the last rheum apt the phlebotomist couldn't get enough blood and same a month ago. So this week I drank gallons of water and the practice nurse found it fine. I don't know what would happen here if I got an urgent summons. The surgery is one of two practices in a small hospital with a phlebotomist. I got sent to the large hospital 50 minutes drive away just for a drop in ECG so it's a bit of a thought. I had to discharge myself from the island hospital with post op wound infection in July because they ran out of veins to cannulate - 3 phlebitis - but that's another story! Panic stations re the awful NHS cutbacks. Tx

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