Blood test when shielding : I am interested to hear how... - NRAS


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Blood test when shielding

Neverending63 profile image

I am interested to hear how people have coped with having to have blood tests on a regular basis if they are suppose to be isolating/shielding.

I am due a 3 monthly blood test in the next week as I am on Benepali and need this before they release my next script. However I normally go to the hospital for this. I’m not even sure the blood test place would be open as it tends to be a little like sardines as it is always so busy.

I have thought about my GP surgery but that seems to be only doing telephone appointments. I would be grateful if anyone could advice me as to they are doing to deal with this

Thanks in advance


Ty all for your advice. I have phoned my GP surgery this morning who said they will be able to do the blood test and to make an appointment next week, so all is sorted thanks again x

28 Replies

Call the gp or your rheumy helpline

Our gp were foing emergency bloods to appointment 1 patient In the surgery st a time . However some rhrumys if bloods have been stable have been cutting blood appointments down

Hi - I was told I can't have them 😕 due to what's going on. So I think the priority has shifted. Interested to see if anyone else are having them. Take care, Hessie

I phoned my gp surgery, explained I am high risk and got an appointment for my blood test tomorrow.

I went on Friday for my bloods as I was told that they are still doing the MTX bloods. I have booked for another one in two weeks. Can you ring the Rheumy department and ask them to arrange for you to have yours done at your GP surgery?

Sorry I should have said that mine is because the MTX has been increased so has to be checked for six weeks and I have mine done at the GP surgery.

My consultant asked me to increase my methotrexate dose at the beginning of March. However the GP rang me to discuss and has kept me on the lower dose for now to avoid the increased frequency of blood tests. Beginning to regret it as joints playing up

Ring your GP and give him/her an earful 😀 Seriously though, I would ring the GP and explain how you are feeling and maybe he/she will up it. I assume the extra you will get will take the usual 3 - 3 months to start acting so the sooner you get it the better.


I have bloodwork tomorrow!

Call your rheumy nurse, or if there is time drop a note in at your GP surgery.

Most blood tests seem to be going ahead.

I spoke to my Rheumatology Nurse on Friday as I’m due for bloods on Monday and she told me to wait another month...I’m 4 months into Baricitinib

I get mine done at NHS authorised chemist. Give it a google. I don’t know if they are working as normal due to the obvious risk. Results are available following morning. Much easier than hospital. Park right outside e.t.c.

I rang my gp spoke to receptionist who did a prescription over the phone and sent it to my pharmacy. She was aware of blood test issue....they are only doing blood tests for cancer and pregnancy atm....she said hopefully in another 3 months blood tests will resume

Hi my GP surgery is still doing drug monitoring blood tests for a number of chronic conditions. We don’t go in through the main entrance but queue outside 2m apart and are asked if we have a new cough or high temp before we are let in. We are given appointment times 10 minutes apart and we don’t go into the building until someone has exited one of the two rooms used. The nurses wipe down the table, door handles and clean hands between each patient. I felt very reassured and was also told that additional measures such as not changing into scrubs until they arrived at work were being followed to ensure they were ‘clean’ for the patients. A really good experience for us.

Same experience for me Julie. Very reassuring.

I have my 2 monthly RA bloods done and INR which is for my warfarin, usually done with gp nurse.I am not prepared to go on local bus for this and risk catching coronavirus and am waiting for my doctor to sort community nurse to visit. We have been instructed to stay in to save lives and I will do that.You are high risk being on immune suppressant

I had one at the GPs last Thursday. Had to wait outside in the car park while I filled out an online form - just 3 questions about travel and any symptoms, contacts etc and then was let in to the deserted waiting room and then nurse’s room. Nurse who took it had a mask on as obviously it’s impossible to take blood at a 2 metre distance! Must admit though I didn’t make the next appointment for a month’s time. Will wait till nearer the time!

I am on MTX I get my bloods done every fortnight, they are coming to the house on Wednesday to do that.

Getting a phone call appointment from Rheumy on the 7th April, going to see if I can get it cut down to once a month.

IMO it's risky asking patients to delay RA blood monitoring. If I had not had my routine bloods taken last Thursday, it would not have been spotted that my white cells are abnormally low and I am now considered VH risk and GP has told me to shield.

Had I not had my bloods I would have been none the wiser and thought I was at an increased risk but still going out to do essential shopping/collect drugs etc.

My bloods had been ok for years.

Bacharia profile image
Bacharia in reply to BoneyC

I'm back on fortnightly testing after only three months of going monthly. The reason is my sky-rocketing numbers in the ALT test. The test done two weeks ago showed a vast improvement, but I'm still to continue 2-weekly as I've also just restarted MTX after a short break.

Normally I get text reminders from the hospital , but none for this morning's appointment. No notice of cancellation either so I went and found the hospital very quiet. Hardly any patients around and not as many receptionists as usual. The chairs in the waiting area had been placed 2 m apart. I asked the nurse if they had any masks yet and she said they have some, but are only wearing them while taking the blood, which she did.

Out-patient numbers are well down because virtually all appointments with consultants are being done by phone. I'd expected to feel uneasy because of being with a lot of sick people, but as I wasn't, I'm not worried. I even called at the in-hospital M&S while I was there to get a couple of much-needed food items and there was just one other customer.

Luckily I can feel fairly sure the risk from my visit was small and, as BoneyC says, it's important for us to keep track of what our RA and RA treatments are doing to us.

Thanks for this, I have been wondering what to do as my rheumatologist told me not to go up to the hospital for tests, yet my surgery rang and told me that I need tests before my next prescription ...fed up with the isolation

Yes I asked the same question last week and got a very mixed reply! I really think it's down to your area and what your gp & hospital are doing in these difficult times, last conversation I had with my Rhemy nurse was keep going as long as possible for your blood tests. Just make sure you check before going, and obviously don't go if you have any symptoms of the virus. I went this morning to my local hospital for my 2 weekly blood test, it was empty, the nurses were very up beat and friendly and reassured me that if I need to come for a blood test I need to come, not to get stressed about it!

Stay safe everyone

I’m in a similar predicament. I started Abatacept 2 weeks ago & first blood test is due next week.

Unfortunately my hospital is a 50 mile round trip drive which I don’t think I’m allowed to do right now & my GP is in a different area & they don’t share info (different computer systems) so even if GP could arrange it ( which they can’t as are closed) the results would not go to Rheumy team where they need to be. I have called GP’s last week but reception said their blood taking was closed but said there was nothing on my notes regarding starting this drug!

Neverending63 profile image
Neverending63 in reply to Otto11

If I were you the answer may be to ring your Rheumy. They should be able to advice you as to what to do. Good luck x

Otto11 profile image
Otto11 in reply to Neverending63

Yes I will call later I think as I’m getting rather stressed with it all. They often don’t call back for 2 weeks or more but don’t know what else to do. Thanks x

I got mine done this morning at GPs it was so quiet as I was the only patient in the surgery and I had to wave at the window as surgery is locked, they phoned me on Friday to screen me and most off the doctors are working from home and 1 nurse doing all the bloods xxx

I had mine done at hospital last week. Was surprised how empty the place was. I did not come within 2m of anyone except the nurse who did the test. I was the only person in waiting room. I stood for a moment in the centre, not touching anything then was called in. I am on 2 weekly tests as my levels so borderline at the moment.

I normally go to the surgery, but someone is going to come to me

I am one blood test in to Leflunomide as started in January because of joint pains. Also on Imraldi. Tried Rheumy nurse and had to leave message - nothing back, this was before lockdown. So have given up and my priority is my husband who has cancer and blood clot on his lung. Would much rather limited services used on patients who are desperate for care and support.

Keep well everyone x

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