The following statement has been issued by NHS England, on 27th August 2021:
‘A supplier to the NHS has advised us of a global shortage of some equipment used for taking blood tests.
Anyone who needs a test for urgent health problems, will still get one but only where your clinician recommends that it’s safe to do so. You may be asked to come back for a test at a later date if your need is not urgent.
Given the nature of the shortage, we cannot give an exact date for when any non-urgent tests will begin to be scheduled, but please be assured that if your condition or symptoms require it, then you will get a test, and we will be scheduling less urgent tests when supplies become more easily available.
If your condition or symptoms change or get worse, please contact the NHS as you would normally.‘
Their full guidance can be accesed here.
What this means for patients of The Caversham
Our clinicians have been asked to prioritise urgent blood tests in order to ensure that supply is available for the sickest patients.
We will continue to order routine tests where they are relevant, but patients will be asked not to book an appointment for the test until further notice, unless asked to do so by a clinician. We have been advised that patients whose tests have not been marked as urgent will be turned away by the Phlebotomy Service if they attend.
We have been told that an update will be provded by the NHS on 17th September but it is very possible that the delay will continue after this point. We will update this message when new information is available.
In the meantime, we ask you to be patient and not to contact the practice unless you symptoms worsen.