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GP staff facing abuse from patients over cancelled blood tests

GP surgery staff are facing abuse from patients who are “angry and upset” that their blood test has been cancelled because of the NHS-wide chronic shortage of sample bottles.

“Patients are angry when we ring them up and say, ‘Sorry we can’t do your blood test after all’. A lot of people are quite angry and concerned about their own health,” Dr David Wrigley, the deputy chair of council at the British Medical Association, said.

“Patients are quite rightly upset and some get quite aggressive as well. They are worried because they don’t know what the implications of their cancelled test are for their health.”

GP practices in England had begun cancelling appointments because the NHS’s main supplier could not deliver stocks as planned for one to two weeks because of “unforeseen road freight challenges”. 

NHS England has responded to the shortage of blood sample bottles by telling GPs to cancel all but clinically urgent blood tests and hospitals to cut back the tests they do by at least 25%. 

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Source: The Guardian, 6 September 2021


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