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Blood Tests: Bottles

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 43596, tabled on 6 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the suspension of routine blood tests by GPs until mid-September on patients.

Answered on

15 September 2021

No specific assessment has been made. Guidance was issued to the National Health Service and all general practitioners (GPs) in England on 10 August, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/becton-dickinson-blood-specimen-collection-portfolio-supply-disruption/

This recommends actions for medical directors, nursing directors, GPs and pathology laboratories to optimise resources for pathology laboratory work. Further communication was issued on 26 August advising of anticipated short term shortages on certain product types and provided guidance by sector on how to safely reduce demand of all tubes in order that clinically urgent testing can continue.

The measures put in place are temporary and that tests should only be delayed where it is safe to do so.

The assessment of whether it is safe to defer a test is a matter for the clinicians.