Routine blood tests suspended ‘for foreseeable future’ in Notts over blood bottle shortage

Patients in Nottinghamshire have been advised by the NHS routine blood tests are currently suspended due to a global shortage of blood tubes.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 6:30 am
Updated Saturday, 11th September 2021, 7:21 am

A notice sent by the health service to patients in Nottingham city confirmed the shortage, with only urgent blood tests to be conducted ‘for the foreseeable future’.

It comes as the NHS confirmed the global shortage of blood tubes, caused by ongoing issues experienced by Plymouth-based supplier Becton Dickinson.

The supplier, the NHS says, has confirmed additional blood tube supplies will be provided, but this must first be delivered and tested.

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There is a shortage of bottles for blood tests.

GP surgeries, hospital trusts and other NHS providers have been contacting patients in regard to the shortage, with Derby Road Health Centre in Nottingham issuing a notice to patients on Wednesday, September 9.

The notice said: “Due to the national blood bottle shortage, the NHS is only able to provide urgent bloods for the foreseeable future.

“All routine blood tests are currently suspended.”

Commenting on the issue, the NHS says ‘constrained supply’ led to action being taken to ‘prioritise the most urgent tests’.

Text messages, messages on social media or website notices are being issued to notify patients of the changes.

The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “While Becton Dickinson has confirmed it will provide additional blood tube supplies, the stock must first be delivered and then go through the appropriate safety checks before the NHS is able to put them to use in patient care.

“Therefore, as we continue to face a constrained supply, it is vital GPs, hospitals and trusts continue to follow the guidance until further advised to reduce the number of tests carried out and prioritise patients with the most urgent need.”

NHS England has previously confirmed the shortage could last until mid-September, with overall supply “likely to remain challenging for a significant period”.

Becton Dickinson said last month it was experiencing ‘continued transportation challenges’, including port and transport capacity, air freight capacity and UK border challenges.

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