Blood testing services at Cirencester Hospital will close from September to ‘avoid unnecessary delays and journeys to hospital’.
In a statement issued to The Standard, the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group who run the service confirmed plans to close the phlebotomy service.
Blood tests will be carried out at local GP surgeries, with only patients who are admitted on to the hospital’s wards or receiving outpatient treatment still be able to have their blood taken on site if their condition or treatment requires it.
A spokesman for the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Where patients have their blood tests taken will reflect their current health needs and the care they are receiving.
“From September, some changes are being made to blood testing services in Cirencester to make them as convenient as possible for patients and avoid unnecessary delays and journeys to hospital.
“Hospital phlebotomy services often experience high levels of demand and, as a consequence, long waiting times.
“As is already happening elsewhere in the county, from September, the majority of blood tests in Cirencester will be carried out at local GP surgeries.
“All GP surgeries in Gloucestershire are receiving additional funds to provide this service for the benefit of their patients.
“Booking an appointment for a blood test is straightforward, and patients will be advised by their healthcare professional.
“If a patient’s GP requires them to have a blood test, they should book an appointment at their GP surgery where the test will be carried out.
“While routine blood tests will not be carried out at Cirencester Hospital, patients who are admitted on to the hospital’s wards or receiving outpatient treatment will still be able to have their blood taken on site if their condition or treatment requires it.
“A small number of patients (who are under the care of a hospital consultant or who are aged 6-11 years or who need complex tests) may also still need to have their bloods taken at Gloucestershire Royal or Cheltenham General hospitals although patients under the care of a hospital consultant who need to have a blood test between hospital appointments might also wish to contact their GP surgery to make an appointment.
“Maternity patients will be advised by their midwife.
“Phlebotomy staff continue to be employed by Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and there will be no redundancies.
“Our aim is to ensure that patients receive a safe and high quality community phlebotomy service when they need it at a location as close to their home as possible.”
Back in February, the group confirmed that discussions between local GP practices and NHS organisations were taking place to agree the best way to meet the ongoing phlebotomy needs of people living in Cirencester and the surrounding area.