The inception of this pioneering service dates to the early months of 2020 and the unprecedented challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response for the need, at that time, for safe, minimal contact medical services, the temporary drive-thru Phlebotomy service was introduced, allowing patients to have their blood samples collected without entering hospital premises and as an alternative to appointments within the community.
From late November 2023, hospital Phlebotomy services will be consolidated within the Outpatients area of Doncaster Royal Infirmary (in addition to services at Bassetlaw and Montagu hospitals), whilst blood testing will continue to be delivered in the community at GP practices.
This change is part of a larger strategic, operational, and budgetary decision, and signals a return, largely, to business as usual for the local NHS, following the pandemic.
Importantly, all GP practices in the borough have continued to provide blood test appointments throughout the pandemic for those patients who preferred, or otherwise needed to have this done closer to home. This remains the case, although many GP practices are only able to offer these appointments in the morning due to the collection and processing of these samples afterwards.
Dr Nabeel Alsindi, Medical Director for NHS South Yorkshire, said: “After three very successful years, the temporary Phlebotomy service at the Eco-power Stadium will cease operations, as we return to pre-pandemic arrangements.
“From Monday 28 November, local people continue to have the option of having their bloods taken closer to home at their GP practice, or instead at the hospital. We will be communicating with all colleagues concerned to ensure this transition is as seamless as possible for our patients.”
In the coming weeks, prior to the cessation of the service, patients under the direct care of DBTH requiring blood tests will receive correspondence from the Trust, highlighting alternative arrangements, while all individuals attending the drive-thru will also made aware of the impending change.
Patients are also reminded that if they have to come to hospital for blood tests, the Park and Ride is available, just off of Leger Way, which offers regular shuttles to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
Denise Smith, Chief Operating Officer at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) said: “First of all, I want to acknowledge and thank our dedicated colleagues who have been instrumental in providing the drive-thru service since 2020.
“The pandemic challenged the NHS to work in different ways, and by locating our Phlebotomy service at the Eco-power Stadium, we were able to offer a safe, accessible, and convenient alternative for our patients, particularly as heightened infection, control, and prevention measures were in place within our hospitals. As we return to business as usual, I want to thank everyone involved who made it such a success.”
If individuals have any questions or concerns, please raise these directly at https://syics.co.uk/contact-us
Doncaster Place is part of NHS South Yorkshire, and is a successor organisation to NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).