Blood tests

Hospitals have been told they must cut their demand for blood collection tubes by at least a quarter and GPs must only order clinically urgent tests for the next three weeks, according to instructions issued by NHS England. Read what this means.
Blood tests shortage

What you need to know

The vials used for blood tests are currently in short supply - and the NHS in England and Wales is temporarily stopping all non-urgent testing.

There are currently global shortages of blood tube products and companies which make vials for the health service are facing serious supply chain issues.

Because of the shortage, the NHS in England and Wales has told surgeries and hospitals to temporarily stop some blood testing - with patients told they will only be able to get tests if they are urgent.

- and the shortage will likely worsen over the next few weeks and last until mid-September, NHS England said.

GP's have been provided with information and will be sharing this with patients. 

More patient information is expected shortly and we will update this webapge.

What tests may be affected?

The tests put on hold include those for fertility, allergies and pre-diabetes

Which tests are being prioritised?

Examples of clinically urgent testing include:

  • Blood tests that are required to facilitate a two week wait referral
  • Blood tests that are extremely overdue and/or essential for safe prescribing of medication or monitoring of condition
  • Blood tests that if taken could avoid a hospital admission or prevent an onward referral
  • Those with suspected sepsis or conditions with a risk of death or disability


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