The laboratory services at University Hospital Southampton launched a new computer system earlier this week, and the switchover has generally gone well.

However, the hospital trust has reported a few issues, which are resulting in a delay in processing blood samples, and there is a risk that samples taken may spoil before they are processed.

For this reason, the NHS has requested that GP practices in Southampton and the surrounding areas and Southampton General Hospital only book urgent blood tests for a period to allow this issue to be resolved.

This will also ensure that people with the most critical need continue to receive timely access to blood tests. 

An urgent blood test includes:

  • Investigation of symptoms that a clinician has said are urgent.
  • Bloods to accompany an urgent cancer referral (formerly called 2ww).
  • Medication monitoring where the frequency is less than monthly.
  • Time-sensitive monitoring.

Blood tests that are not urgent include:

  • Routine monitoring of chronic diseases
  • Investigation of symptoms that a clinician feels is not urgent
  • NHS Health Check bloods
  • NHS prostate check
  • Medication monitoring where the frequency is monthly or more

What does this mean for patients?

If you already have a blood test booked, we will be checking if it meets the urgent criteria and will contact you if your blood test needs to be postponed.

If you do not hear from us, then your appointment remains booked.

For tests that are being postponed, you will be offered a new appointment at least two weeks in the future.

We continue to liaise with colleagues at NHS Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and University Hospital Southampton every day, updating our guidance as services begin to resume normal operations. We thank you for your patience while this is worked through.

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The surgery will be CLOSED for TARGET training from 1 pm on Thursday 26th September 2024. We will reopen on Friday 27th September 2024 at 8 am. 

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