Blood tests are undertaken by our Health Care Assistant on week-days in order that the sample can be transported to the laboratory on the same day.
It is the patient’s responsibility to contact the doctor for the result. To make it easier for patients, we have a results system so that you do not need to make an appointment with the doctor just to get your test results – the doctor will leave sufficient instructions with the receptionists to enable patients to make sense of the results without the inconvenience of attending the surgery.
You do not need an appointment to attend the phlebotomy clinic. It is a walk-in service for patients over the age of 16 and runs Monday – Friday 8.30am to 9:30am and an afternoon service Monday – Wednesday 13:00pm – 14:00pm.
Waiting times vary depending on the time of day, the number of samples taken and other complications as a result of the blood collection. Every effort is made to see patients as quickly as possible and it normally takes about 7-8 minutes per patient and sometimes longer depending on possible complications.
The Phlebotomist will call you into the room and ask you to sit in a chair and uncover your arm. After confirming your identity, the phlebotomist puts a tourniquet around the arm just above the elbow, cleans the area if dirty, and gently inserts a small needle into a vein on the inner arm. The phlebotomist quickly withdraws. just enough blood needed for all the tests and then gently removes the needle. Pressure will be applied to a piece of cotton wool / gauze over the site to stop the bleeding and a small plaster tape is applied – please let the phlebotomist know if you are allergic to sticking plaster. The blood is then placed into one or more tubes and is sent to the laboratory for testing.
Phlebotomy is safe when done by a health professional. You may develop a small bruise at the puncture site. The most common causes of bruising after a blood test are the lack of pressure on the site of the jab or damage to the vein when the needle is inserted. Although bruises can be painful, they are usually harmless, but if you frequently get bruises from blood tests you should tell your GP. During or after a blood test you may feel faint. Tell the Phlebotomist if you feel weak or dizzy so that they can help you feel more comfortable.
It is important that you follow up and find out the results of your blood tests. You may have been asked to make a follow-up appointment to discuss your blood tests. If you are phoning for results please allow about 1 week before calling the surgery (your GP will inform you if the test may take longer to come back)
Normal results: The receptionist may be able to tell you over the phone if all the tests were normal.
Abnormal results: The GPs review all the results and will contact you if there is anything that needs to be discussed urgently. If not, they may contact you by phone / letter or wait for you to phone in. Ideally you should speak with the GP who requested the results.