Changes to blood test appointments

THERE will be changes taking place to blood test appointments at Basildon Hospital, Orsett Hospital and St Andrew’s Centre, Billericay, in October and November.From Saturday 1 October 2016, the blood test booking line number will change to:01702 746509, 01702 746510 and 01702 746511.The numbers will be available Monday to Friday, 7.30am-5pm (excluding UK public holidays).From Monday 10 October, patients who need a blood test at Orsett Hospital will be able to book a phlebotomy appointment in advance. The new system is running on a trial basis for three months alongside walk-in slots. Patients will be able to book online or over the telephone and can specify all of their blood test requirements, such as fasting, glucose intolerance, warfarin (INR), so the most suitable time can be offered.From Tuesday 1 November, blood test clinics will be available by appointment only at Basildon Hospital and St Andrew’s Centre, Billericay. Walk-in clinics will no longer be available.Online booking is available from the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals website www.basildonandthurrock.nhs.uk and is very easy to use. Patients simply visit the blood tests section on the website, and click on the book online’ button. They will then need to follow the instructions on how to register and select the date and time for their blood test. An automatic email confirmation is then sent to the patient.Those wishing to book by telephone (from 1 October) can call 01702 746509, 01702 746510 or 01702 746511; Monday to Friday, 7.30am-5pm (excluding UK public holidays).Pathology First Phlebotomy Services manager, Paula John, said: “We introduced the facility to book blood test appointments at Basildon Hospital in October last year. The system has proved to be very popular and now each day more than 300 patients book their blood test appointment in advance.”We know that those who book an appointment wait on average five minutes for their blood test, whereas people who choose to walk-in can wait more than an hour. Offering appointments has improved the experience for patients and helped us provide a more efficient service.

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