Blood test capsule shortage: Hi, has anybody else been... - NRAS


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Blood test capsule shortage

trenarren profile image

Hi, has anybody else been told they can't have their blood test due to the shortage? I've been on, since the pandemic, a 3 monthly test cycle, and due now but the doctors are saying no blood tests for at least a couple of months. I'm on Methotrexate and Rituximab and feel OK but the tests have bought a problem up in the past!!

56 Replies

Not yet but I expect a delay next time round. But luckily mine is also done by my Nephrologist so that has to be done and I'll go to the Renal hospital and they will share results.

There’s a National shortage of vials. Only emergency tests for a few weeks I saw in the newspaper today.

Yes, mine was booked for the 7th but I had a text saying that they were allowed cancelled until the 17th. I went online and rebooked for the 17th so we shall see...

trenarren profile image
trenarren in reply to Boxerlady

Let's hope it gets sorted soon, receptionist said phone back in a couple of months, I hope it won't be that long, but these things do tend to escalate!!

I must be living under a rock, I had my blood test on Thursday (every 3 months) this is the first time I've heard of a shortage of vials, my dermatologist also requested my full bloods last month before my skin biopsy and requested more this month for connective tissue disease and coeliac screening, I don't have my bloods checked at the Drs, I go to a rheumatology clinic. I will be seeing my rheumy consultant in September and she's already said I'll be having a full blood screen (which they always do anyway).

My blood tests are organised by my Doctor's, it changed that way about 2 years ago. I have my tests done at the hospital but need my Doctor's surgery to "put it on the system". I have seen a reference to the vial shortage on the news, and wonder if it's just starting to go down hill!!

I've had mine done twice in the last 3 weeks but I'm having problems with my BP, liver and HB, so I assume that's why. Article about shortage

Jig-saw profile image
Jig-saw in reply to Hezekiah

Thanks for the link

I had heard but not been informed officially. Mine aren't due for two months so wouldn't expect to hear yet anyway. Another worry to add to the collection.

I need to book mine this week for 2 weeks time so I’ll see what happens. At the beginning of the first lockdown last April I was told by the surgery that they weren’t doing blood tests but once I’d missed 2 (every 6 weeks) they stopped issuing my methotrexate - without telling me why.

Had my monthly bloods taken last Thursday and no mention of any shortages, but heard about it in the media.

Not at problem at my surgery

I’ve recently had to add Sulfasalzine to my MTX and should be on two weekly bloods for while - I’ve had the first set on Friday and when I go online I see my next two lots of bloods have ‘blocked’ next to the dates and I can’t do my usual online booking for the one due after that so I will have to see what my bloods look like from Friday and make a decision wether to keep upping the Sulfasalzine as prescribed by rheumy or to sit tight on what I’m on until bloods can resume.... getting hold of rheumy clinic has always been impossible (short opening hours, phone rings and no one answers or it’s engaged!)

Hey ho, what can you do but carry on - at least I’m not running for my life!!

All the best


trenarren profile image
trenarren in reply to Ali_H

Yes, I can make an online booking at the hospital, but I know from experience if it's not booked on the system by the surgery then they won't /can't do it!!I found an email address for my rheumy help line on my last visit, I can't believe they all don't have one. Its not quick but I have had a telephone response from them using it.

Just have to keep pushing your way through, and hope for the best!!

Ali_H profile image
Ali_H in reply to trenarren

Aah! I hadn’t thought about an email for them... will try and find out if they have one... thanks for the idea 👍🏼

I had bloods done last Thursday when there was some bits in the press re shortages of vials, by my nurse appointment on the Friday it had gone to essential bloods only. Was told 2 monthly instead of monthly and can no longer book on the NHS app, have to ring my surgery

This is a very worrying time, No Vials! I wonder if they come from abroad? I’m glad I’ve just had mine done. My haematologist insists I get them done at the hospital but my GP also contacts me every 3 months to get other ones. I have lymphoma and wouldn’t like the bloods getting delayed as it’s a kinda relief after they are done telling me that everything still the same and my condition is not getting worse. I’m sure everyone feels like that after getting bloods done. Fingers crossed the situation improves as it will create another backlog.

Jacey15 profile image
Jacey15 in reply to Lizard28

Lymphoma bloods will be done x

Lizard28 profile image
Lizard28 in reply to Jacey15

Thank you, that is a relief to know xx

I have a blood test tomorrow 🤞which my GP and I organised to see how my body is accepting the increase of mtx.

Yes, I had mine booked for Thursday and had the doctors cancel it. I also have them every 3 months but my white cell count is very low. It’s a real worry!

I have heard about the shortage of vials in the news. I have blood tests booked for tomorrow morning and still going ahead as had a reminder text this morning. Feel guilty being able to have my blood tests done when other people are not able to have their critical blood tests done. Hoping it is temporary and everyone who needs their blood tests can get them done very soon. x

Ali_H profile image
Ali_H in reply to Summerrain14

Don’t feel guilty - it is what it is and pleased you are getting what you need re this issue 🙃

trenarren profile image
trenarren in reply to Ali_H


🤗😊 x

Summerrain14 profile image
Summerrain14 in reply to Ali_H

🤗😊 x

Definitely no need to feel guilty!Mine is definitely not urgent and I'm sure that there are plenty in the same situation whereas you need monitoring!

Hope you get some answers soon 🤞😊

I am not too sure what these blood tests are for. Just had a call from the GP surgery to say my GP wanted to repeat my bloods. Will be good to have them done as my inflammatory markers were high last time. I have a rheumy appointment next week too so at least my bloods will be up to date. 😊 x

Err you need yours .. you’ve had major infections. Don’t feel guilt. I do worry some people may not feel they need their tests when they do. I will have more immunity ones I am recommended to by my rheumy as I’m getting bronchitis and pneumonia every other month now. That needs to be monitored closely. I think in a few weeks the shortage of glass will improve. 🙏🏻 It’s not right I agree if some people are left without vital blood tests. The rheumys will need to adjust re proof of the blood test results to be able to approve RA meds though if the shortage continues. Just as they had to last year. xx

I am very relieved to be having my blood tests and it is important as you say to monitor my recovery from pneumonia. Just wish other people have not had their much needed tests cancelled but hopefully things will get back to usual service for everyone as soon as possible. So pleased you are having your much needed tests too. xx

Have had some but need to have more in depth ones. Immunology phone consultation next week so I’m sure there’ll be some more they want me to have. Hope you’re feeling some improvement even if small steps. 🙏🏻💗 xx

I’m much better thanks. Hope all goes well with your phone consultation and a way forward is able to be planned. xx

Thank you and I hope you get your ftf appointment through soon. xx

Brexit strikes again 🙄. I hadn’t even heard of this one…totally insane…

Jacey15 profile image
Jacey15 in reply to CripLady

Not Brexit this time. It's a global issue.

MadBunny profile image
MadBunny in reply to Jacey15

My husband who works in manufacturing, says there's a shortage of materials across many industries due to lockdowns, furlough and redundancies.

Makes sense 😑

CripLady profile image
CripLady in reply to Jacey15

Yay 🎉…..I think the next few years are going to be arduous in different ways 🙃…Roll on 2025……😓

Saw my gp last Friday and I've booked a blood test for this Friday, he didn't mention anything about it, but I have seen it mentioned. It is very important to have regular blood tests when on methotrexate, my doctor used to get cross with me when I didn't have them done regularly when I took them. I would keep on to them, best wishes

You can’t usually get approval for RA meds and not Mtx if you don’t have your bloods done. My requirement on Rtx and Mtx is 3 monthly bloods or no approval for those meds. Last year some people had to go longer though re blood testing but I was told still 3 monthly.

Yes I'm 3 monthly and due a new biologic prescription so I'll have to check with my nurse if bloods are considered necessary during the current problems.

I would think they are. You’ll need to know where your bloods are before starting a new biologic. I’m due to change meds later in the year but hopefully the glass shortage won’t be an issue then to me or anyone. I’m currently having my immunoglobulins investigated as well as the usual blood tests for Rtx, so I would hope they will continue as my side effects are not improving.

Sorry wrote it wrong I meant to say repeat biologic prescription 🙄Hope a change of meds works out for you- asap 🤗

Thank you. I can’t change med until at least six months after Rtx and probably longer. I have to wait a while. I’m in discussions at the moment. Hope all goes well for you too. 💗

Thank you x

I’m due to phone up for an appointment tomorrow for my mtx bloods. In my favour I was told to do so by the dr I spoke to on Friday as well as my rheumatologist, and my liver results have been a bit dodgy over the last few tests my liver results have been decidedly dodgy.

I would hope that you will get a test, mtx is not a nice thing to have to take and does need monitoring for that exact reason.

Yes you’re not supposed to be signed off by the rheumy to get your script from the healthcare company unless you’ve had the blood tests, but guess as they did last year they’ll have to do again now. None of the higher spec meds are particularly good not to leave your blood tests longer for. 😑

I have mine booked In for Wednesday, I haven't had a text reminder yet though, so we will see.

Yes there is a global shortage so they are reserved for cancer patient and major bleeding etc. More stock should be available mid term late September.

I went for my blood tests this morning and the nurse was saying to me that they have cancelled all routine blood tests until the end of September in my GP surgery but said to me I will continue to have mine. Asked if they had heard anything about the booster vaccine for Covid but they are still waiting to hear what the government advise. Flu jabs will start mid to late September too and I’ll get a text to book my flu jab. Appreciate that this is just the advice for me from my GP surgery though. I feel very lucky to have such a good GP surgery in that they prioritise my blood tests and any vaccines etc. Just wish the care was the same for everyone x

I think and hope the care is good for many others too. 🙏🏻💗

I had mine done today but am pregnant as well as having steroids / flare up so lots to look at. She didn’t think it’s be too much of an issue having them going forward 🤞🏼

My hospital trust is saying restrictions are in place until the 18th September, only book if it's urgent or you have a clinic appointment before the 25th September. I'm due my 12weekly ones for my mtx and biologic next week so I'll probably contact the rheum nurse and see what she advises, as I've been having a flare this last week.

Yep I had an email and text this mirning from hospital this morning cancelling blood test booked for 13th, the email also said no re bookings available for blood tests at the moment.

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