Test tube shortage leads to Derbyshire blood test cancellations

All non-urgent blood tests in Derbyshire have been temporarily cancelled due to a national shortage of test tubes.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 8:39 am

All NHS services in Derbyshire and the rest of the country have been ordered to suspend non-urgent testing until September 17.

The NHS in England and Wales says there is a global shortage of test tubes, which has largely been driven by their use for testing Covid patients, while transport issues have also hit supply chains.

Health services in the county are expecting additional pressure from the high number of calls from patients asking about their blood test appointments.

All NHS services in Derbyshire have been ordered to suspend non-urgent testing until September 17.

Staffa Health, a GP surgery operating across three sites – Tibshelf, Stonebroom, and Holmewood – in North Derbyshire, has told its patients that blood test appointments have been cancelled until “at least” September 17 with the shortage hitting all healthcare services.

It has apologised for the “inconvenience”, saying “this is something that is completely out of our control”.

Urgent appointments, assessed by service providers such as your local GP or hospital, will still go ahead as planned and patients whose appointments are being cancelled will be contacted.

Staffa Health says it has added patients whose appointments it has had to cancel to a waiting list and they will be recontacted.

The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Royal Derby Hospital and Queen’s Hospital in Burton, says walk-in blood tests will not be available until the shortage clears.

It says urgent blood tests will be rebooked by the referring clinician where necessary and patients will be informed of a new appointment.’

Appointments booked until September 17 will only continue for “patients who need to be tested for an urgent health problem” it says.

All patients with a registered mobile number and who booked blood test appointments will receive the following text from the hospital trust: “Due to a global shortage of blood tubes we have been asked to cancel all of our clinics until 17 September 2021, if your booked appointment was urgent please contact your referring clinician. If your condition or symptoms change or get worse, please contact the NHS as you would normally.”

If you believe your blood test is urgent but have not been contacted, the hospital trust advises you to contact your referring clinician.