The waiting time between referral and appointment for blood tests are on the rise.
Guidance from NHS England says that GPs should only test for a clinical indication and increase the testing interval for patients who are being monitored if it is clinically safe to do so.
A shortage of blood testing capacity is a further blow to a health service struggling with record numbers of patients on waiting lists for treatment – after NHS figures showed this week that 5.45m patients were waiting for treatment at the start of June.
Guidance on use of blood tests issued said tests for cancer screening, prenatal screening and tests in unwell babies should all be prioritised, with vitamin D testing and allergy testing suspended unless there are exceptional circumstances or an overriding clinical indication. Routine wellness screening and routine infertility testing should also be deferred, the guidance suggested.
The NHS waiting list hit seven million patients for the first time in October, with median waiting times reaching 13.8 months, with allergy test referrals looking to take over 12 months for an appointment.
If long waiting times are a problem affecting you, contact us to see if we can help as we offer hundreds of blood tests.
Please be aware that there is an ongoing national shortage of Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis vaccines, and unfortunately we cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide vaccination against these two diseases.
For further information and updates, please ask our colleagues