Havering patients wait up to January for blood tests

Queen's and King George Hospitals moved the blood testing out to GPs and surgeries at the onset of t

Queen's and King George Hospitals moved the blood testing out to GPs and surgeries at the onset of the pandemic. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Patients in Havering have reported waiting up to Christmas Eve and January 7 for non-urgent blood tests.

Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge clinical commissioning groups (BHR CCGs) apologised, saying the reason is largely due to the NHS moving community blood testing services that, before the pandemic, took place in Queen’s or King George hospitals into GP surgeries and health centres.

A spokesman said: “Getting these community settings up and running means that patients needing non-urgent blood tests are currently facing waits and we apologise for the inconvenience. “This is a huge undertaking, but necessary to ensure the best infection and control measures to protect both patients and staff during the pandemic.

“We are all working hard to get the new service up and running and will be reducing waiting times and adding new clinics in the next few weeks.

He added that while the waiting times at some clinics, like popular Elm Park Health Centre is about four months, appointments are available sooner at three other clinics in Havering and in two neighbouring boroughs.

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The current wait time for Long Term Conditions Centre in Harold Wood is two weeks, three weeks for Harold Hill Clinic and four weeks for Harold Wood Polyclinic

The spokesman added: “GPs can still arrange urgent tests for patients who must be seen more quickly, and these patients are currently being seen within a few days.”

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