Community phlebotomy services are currently provided in a range of settings and locations within Gloucestershire, including ‘drop in’ hospital clinics and GP practices.  Where patients have their blood taken may be decided based on their current health needs or the services available locally.

We want to improve this service for patients. This involves reducing the need for patients to have to travel to Gloucestershire Royal or Cheltenham General Hospital to have their bloods taken as these phlebotomy services often experience high levels of demand and, as a consequence, long waiting times. On occasion, these services have had to close earlier than scheduled in order to safely manage the number of patients waiting, with some patients then needing to come back on another date.

More GP practices will now provide this service to their patients which, for most patients, will reduce travel and waiting times and avoid hospital car parking charges. Some patients, including those requiring specialist tests, those under the care of hospital consultants and those aged 6-11 years may still need to come to either Cheltenham General or Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

Discussions are continuing regarding the way phlebotomy services could be provided at Cirencester Hospital. Various organisations within the NHS and primary care are in conversation about how to meet the needs of communities across the county, including Cirencester and the surrounding area. Not all areas of the county will reach the same conclusions about how best to provide phlebotomy services to their local population. We will provide information as soon as we can on those discussions.

Our aim is to ensure patients get timely access to a safe and high quality community phlebotomy service at a location as close to their home as possible.