We are making temporary changes to our Phlebotomy (blood taking) service as a result of the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19). These changes will help ensure we have sufficient staff to provide a safe service and minimise the risk to both patients and staff coming in to contact with others who may have the virus.
From Friday, 1 May:
To facilitate social distancing the Drop-In Phlebotomy Service at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford, the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), Bridgnorth Community Hospital and Whitchurch Community Hospital will no longer be providing a walk-in service for patients.
Blood tests will still be provided where there is an essential need and by appointment only. ‘Essential’ is defined as those blood tests which are essential to guide diagnosis or management decisions for acute presentations or unstable ongoing conditions, and which cannot be postponed without causing, or potentially causing, significant harm to the patient. This includes essential blood monitoring for medicines such as Warfarin (INR) or DMARDs.
During the coronavirus pandemic all other routine blood tests will be postponed.
COVID-19 symptom free patients
Well patients who are not showing Covid-19 symptoms and would normally access drop-in phlebotomy (blood testing) clinics will be asked to attend one of four clinics relocated across the county by appointment only:
- Bridgnorth Community Hospital
- Whitchurch Community Hospital
- Euston House, Telford Town Centre
- The Lantern, Meadow Farm Drive, Shrewsbury
Clinics will be open from (Monday, 11 May) 9am – 1pm, Monday to Friday, except Euston House which will offer a 4-day service (not opening on Thursdays). To access the clinics, you will need to be referred by your GP or consultant, who will ask you to make an appointment. The patient booking line will be open 9am – 4pm.
Patients with COVID-19 symptoms
Patients who have symptoms of coronavirus and require an essential blood test should telephone their GP practice in the first instance.
High risk patients (i.e. those who are shielded and are required to self-isolate for 12 weeks)
For patients who are high risk and categorised by the national criteria as shielded (requiring 12 weeks home isolation) the GP or consultant will refer them to Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust who will provide either a home visiting service or, if appropriate, an appointment to attend St. Michael’s Clinic in Shrewsbury (open Monday to Friday 9am – 12.00 pm). Special arrangements have been put in place at St Michael’s Clinic to protect patients attending this site.
Patients who fall into this category locally will be identified by their GP and/or consultant.
There are very few children requiring essential blood tests. For children not required to shield or not on Warfarin:
- Seen by a Telford & Wrekin GP, the usual service will be provided by the Shropshire Community Hospital NHS Trust, Community Children’s Nursing Team and special measures are in place to protect children, their families and staff.
- For all other children in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin (not requiring to shield/not on Warfarin), children will be referred to attend a dedicated clinic at either Euston House in Telford or The Lantern in Shrewsbury. On referral by their GP or consultant, parent/guardians of these children will need to call the clinic to book the appointment.
Those children who are shielding (requiring 12 weeks home isolation), with the exception of those receiving Warfarin, will be referred by their GP and looked after by Shropshire Community Hospital NHS Trust’s Community Children’s Nursing Service who will contact the parents/guardians to make special arrangements for blood testing.
Those children on Warfarin, will be contacted directly by the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust and special arrangements will be made.
These arrangements are temporary, for the duration of the coronavirus response, and will be reviewed on a regular basis. All stakeholders will be kept informed when these changes are reversed, and the service returns to normal.