Health chiefs reveal blood testing service plans amid overload at New QEII Hospital

New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: Alan Davies]

New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: Alan Davies] - Credit: Alan Davies

Health chiefs have pledged to expand local blood testing services after reports of patients queuing down the New QEII Hospital’s halls.

East and North Herts NHS Trust chief executive, Nick Carver, previously conceded that the service’s demand had “exceeded capacity” and was causing long waits.

A spokeswoman for the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it had been working on a new blood testing service for some time.

She added: “We want the service to meet the needs of our growing population and make it possible for more people to have blood tests closer to home.

“The old contract expires at the end of March 2019 and we aim to have the new service in place by April 2019.”

MP Grant Shapps, who has been pressuring the trust and CCG as part of his Make Healthcare Local Campaign, welcomed the move, but added the overload was something people warned of when the old QEII Hospital was downgraded.

“Blood testing at the QEII is a major issue at the moment,” Mr Shapps said. “Along with my constituents, my own family has experienced queues down the corridor and waits of over two hours.

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“Frankly, I am shocked that a relatively new hospital cannot properly provide a service which underpins such a large number of treatments.”