On 31 March 2019, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust withdrew blood testing services that were provided at a limited number of surgeries and which were accessible only to patients registered at those GP practices. This service was not commissioned by Enfield CCG and was a historic arrangement put in place by Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals. The Royal Free have decided to focus blood testing services at their hospital sites.
Enfield CCG decided to commission a new community phlebotomy service that will be accessible to patients registered at any of our member practices. We sent out a patient survey and discussed our proposals at a number of events and public meetings including:
- Voluntary and Community Stakeholder Reference Group July 2019
- Patient Participation Group Network meeting June 2019
- Patient and Public Engagement Event June 2019
- Patient Reference Group July 2019
- GP membership engagement event and GP survey (internal documents only)
- Governing Body Meetings
The feedback was used to develop a service specification with an improved offer for patients.
A phlebotomy focused patient reference group was recruited and worked alongside NHS staff on the project to review the service specification in detail. Based on feedback from engagement with our community and the detailed review by the Patient Reference Group, the new service will deliver:
- an improved accessible service to patients across the borough
- deliver a service close to home by providing a timely service 6-days a week (Monday-Saturday) 8am-18:00pm
- Patients will be encouraged to book appointments via a web based appointment system (similar to swift queue used at NMUH) as well as offering a telephone booking appointment
- The service will also enable patients to walk in for urgent blood tests (as referred by their GP) providing they have a GP referral for a blood test
- Domiciliary Phlebotomy service – to improve the availability of the domiciliary service between 9:00am-5:00pm for house bound patients and care home residents
Equality Impact Assessments and Quality Impact Assessments have been undertaken to inform the CCG’s business case and service specification
The Patient Reference Group designed key performance indicators that directly affect patient care to be included in the contract around waiting times, appointment booking and patient experience.
The final phase of the project was to procure a new provider to deliver the service. The NHS has to work to strict procurement rules which dictate a timeline and key stages. The project was paused during the pre-election period in late 2019 as the NHS cannot make any significant financial decisions or enter into new contracts before a general election. Enfield CCG will be making an announcement soon about the new provider and this will include the details about the launch of the service, which is likely to be in spring 2020.