Is everyone else going through this nonsense to get a blood test?

Due to a family emergency, I was away for three weeks and came home a few days before my scheduled endo appointment, realising belatedly that there was no way I'd be able to get my blood test done in time. I get the tests done at my gp's surgery and bring them to the endo.

In order to have the tests, I have to ring the surgery, arrange a phone appointment with the gp (this can take up to 2 weeks depending on whether you need to speak to a particular doctor), ask gp for the tests, schedule the blood test (this can take a further 1-2 weeks, longer if you want the first appointment of the day), have the blood drawn, wait for the results to arrive at the surgery (this can take from a day to a week), ring up and ask the receptionist to ask the gp if I can have a printout of the results and collect the printout (usually done on the same day). It is not unusual for this process to take 3wks.

Admittedly this is my oversight and I should just have rescheduled the endo appointment weeks ago, but equally it seems bonkers that it should take so much time to schedule a routine blood test which is required for my consultant's appointment to be of any use at all. The process is so convoluted that even when the penny dropped about the test, I was abroad and it would have taken so long to organise (ring to make phone appointment, ring to speak to gp, get told that gp is still busy so wait until gp is free to speak, ring to make blood test appointment) that I couldn't conjure up the will to do it and it was too late anyway.

I've made the gp phone appointment for this week but rescheduled endo appointment isn't until late August, so I hope in starting the blood test process now I can have the actual test done in August without having to arrange another gp appointment closer to the time.

After rescheduling endo appointment, I realised I'd forgotten to get ironclad assurance that appointment is with actual endo and not one of the gormless registrars. I rang back and was on hold for 15 minutes and put the phone down without ever speaking to a human being, so I hope I can remember that this needs doing before I travel 40 minutes, spend money on parking, sit in the waiting room and discover that I'm not even going to see 'my' endo.

Sorry for rant. This kind of bureaucracy drives me to distraction.

14 Replies

  • When I need a test, I have at least sometimes been able to get the request form without seeing a GP at all. Then I go to the local hospital phlebotomy unit, as early as possible, and am usually done by 08:30.

    The results are usually on the computer system within two days - and, so long as a GP has seen them, the receptionist might be persuaded to tell me the number over the phone.

    What is happening to you is a disgrace.

    I could make it worse for myself by making an appointment at the GP surgery for blood taking - but see absolutely no point as it is similar distance from my home as the hospital.

    Let's hope you don't get something that needs results urgently...


  • That sounds more sensible. I'm annoyed, but I'm wasting the gp's time too. If you need a routine test, even if you can only have a certain number per year, it seems silly for the process to be so convoluted.

  • I see my GP once amonth, required for the medicaion and if I need a blood test I ask there and then.

    Normally can just ring up and ask for one with no problems.

  • I think I'd be more upset if I had to make an appointment once a month just to get my levo, but then my surgery doesn't work very efficiently.

  • I know every surgery is different, but in my case the arrangements are just like yours! NUTS! However, now we know I will need blood tests fairly regularly, before I leave the doctors or the endo's office I always take a new test form with me. This is then ready for whenever I know I will need to get them done so my advice is - at your next visit, ask for a form to keep at home = at least it would cut out one lot of 'phone/book/wait' time! Hope this helps, and good luck!

  • Yes, this is good advice, though it still means booking a gp appt every time I need a test. I guess there's nothing I can do about that so I may just need to adjust the way I think about it, ie every time I make an endo appt (only every 4/5 months) I should immediately make the gp appt to get the test form. I suspect if this were a more regular thing I would have established a routine, but each time I realise the endo appt is approaching it's as though it surprises me all over again that I have to embark on the elaborate process of getting the test done.

    If I got on better with the various people at my surgery I wouldn't mind going more often but I realise (having heard your story) that I'm doing everything I can to stay away, which explains a lot. I had so many problems with them when I was at my lowest point with the thyroid business that I just engage with them when necessary to get things done.

  • Hi I have to get a blood test but can have one at my GPs (5 mins away) or can pop into the phlebotomy department at the hospital where I see an endo.

    My problems is that if I have bloods done at the hospital my GP cannot give me my result and my endo refuses to give me a print off. There is always something. Plus the endo often tries to tell me that I have not had one done when I have because she cannot be bothered to search the system and I have to make her do so.

  • I was under the impression that they had to give you the printed results if you ask - ? Poor you, that sounds annoying. If you're doing your bit why can't they do theirs? My endo would get the bloods quickly but he is far away in comparison (my gp is also just 5mins away). It's just the big song and dance around the blood test that is annoying and time-consuming.

  • The GP will give me the blood results but they cannot get access to ones drawn at the hospital. My current endo thinks that I should not know the scores or be self educated. Which is why we have had words :)

  • When I have a hospital appointment, my Endo gives me a request form for the next time. I have blood drawn by the nurse a few days before. The Endo then writes with test results and an update on my treatment to my GP and to me.

  • That sounds blessedly convenient for one and all.

  • It does mean that everyone is in the loop.

  • I'll second that, my Consultant gives me the forms to have my blood done two weeks before my next appointment. If I need others I simply have to request it in writing or speak to my GP who has telephone ring you back slots. Simples!

  • I'll ask the endo next time I go in if there's a better way.

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