Covid-19 service update
Please read the latest update on phlebotomy services in North Central London here (17 July 2020, full updates on services provided by North Middlesex University Hospital, Royal Free London, University College London Hospitals, Whittington Health).
A set of NCL Phlebotomy FAQs: Urgent and Essential Bloods has been published.
Community phlebotomy clinics are being held at Holloway Community Health Centre from Monday 29 June 2020, providing 1,500 appointments per week for Haringey and Islington residents.
Rapid changes required, by the Covid-19 outbreak, to a service already at capacity have created challenges for both GP practices and acute trusts. In the short term, North Central London (NCL) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is rapidly identifying and implementing solutions where possible, but also looking at the medium and long term. For the medium and long term, an NCL group is being established, with representation from GPs, providers and commissioners from all boroughs.
While the CCG works on addressing these challenges, GPs are requested to use the processes in place (described below). A detailed how-to guide is available.
As part of making phlebotomy services as safe as possible, all clinic appointments are now pre-booked.
For up-to-date information on phlebotomy services, please use the Phlebotomy updates page on the NCL GP Coronavirus GP intranet.
Current process (Whittington clinics)
- Please only request urgent bloods in order to limit the number of patients accessing phlebotomy services.
- Please continue to identify low-value testing and, where possible, defer it for a few weeks, during this period of capacity expansion. This will significantly help to sustain capacity, prevent excessive waits and allow essential tests to be undertaken.
- Phlebotomy services are no longer walk-in for urgent bloods and walk-in patients will not be attended to.
Booking an appointment
- Practices are asked to initiate the booking for their patients by the standard e-RS booking process used for outpatient appointments. This reduces practice administration as patients will be able to book their appointments once provided with their UBRN and password. (How to guide)
- Once in e-RS practices should choose diagnostic pathology selecting specialty “blood test”. Practices should then inform the patient of the generated UBRN and password along with the booking telephone line and online weblink. The patient can then book their appointment time.
- There is no need to email blood test form.
- The booking window is being kept short i.e. no more than 4 days to manage Covid-19 transmission risk so appointments cannot be booked in advance. We are undertaking discussions about the booking window and implications for capacity and DNA.
- Haringey and Islington same day blood requests are only available at Whittington hospital site Level 5. There is very limited capacity.
- Patients are required to book their same-day appointment following the process above.
- The SunQuest form must be sent before the patient attends their appointment.
Sending SunQuest forms to Whittington Health
- Please continue to request blood tests for your patients via SunQuest.
- This service is for Haringey and Islington practices where SunQuest is installed.
- Additional capacity for tQuest practices is planned imminently.
Informing your patients
- Please ask your patients to attend their phlebotomy appointment with a face covering.
- It would be very helpful if you are able to contact patients informing them that the forms they have since before Covid may need to be reviewed i.e. is it still necessary and/or need to book a new appointment. They may otherwise visit a phlebotomy service, which was previously walk-in, and be told to return after re-booking their appointment.
- You may wish to include this update on your practice website.
How to refer
Referral methods: e-Referral
See detailed guidance in the WH SOP eRS download provided
Holloway Community Health Centre