Bedford Hill Family Practice

120 Bedford Hill
Balham
SW12 9HS
Tel: 020 8673 1720

Phlebotomy / Blood Tests

Blood tests are undertaken by our Phlebotomists on week-day and Saturday mornings in order that the sample can be transported to the laboratory on the same day.

It is the patient's responsibility to contact the doctor for the result. To make it easier for patients, we have a results system so that you do not need to make an appointment with the doctor just to get your test results - the doctor will leave sufficient instructions with the receptionists to enable patients to make sense of the results without the inconvenience of attending the surgery.

Walk-In Service

You do not need an appointment to attend the phlebotomy clinic. It is a walk-in service for patients over the age of 16 and runs Monday - Friday 8.30am to 12.15pm and Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm. You will need to bring your blood test request form from your doctor. 

When you arrive for your blood test, please take a number from the ticket dispenser situated at the main reception desk and take a seat until your number is called. Due to high demand we may need to stop the clinic earlier than advertised.

Waiting Times

Waiting times vary depending on the time of day, the number of samples taken and other complications as a result of the blood collection. Every effort is made to see patients as quickly as possible and it normally takes about 7-8 minutes per patient and sometimes longer depending on possible complications.

Our busiest times are between 8.30am and 10.30am and on Tuesdays when we have many of our antenatal patients coming in for bloods. During the busy times you can expect to wait for up to an hour and sometimes longer.

Procedure

The Phlebotomist will call you into the room and ask you to sit in a chair and uncover your arm. After confirming your identity, a tourniquet is placed around your arm just above the elbow, the area is cleaned and then a small needle is inserted into a vein on the inner arm. Blood is taken and put into a special blood bottle. Sometimes more than one blood bottle is required depending on the type of blood test requested by your doctor, however, usually only one venepuncture is needed to collect sufficient blood for the tests. Your blood samples will then be sent to the pathology laboratory for testing.

Risks

Phlebotomy is safe when done by a health professional. You may develop a small bruise at the puncture site. The most common causes of bruising after a blood test are the lack of pressure on the site of the jab or damage to the vein when the needle is inserted. Although bruises can be painful, they are usually harmless, but if you frequently get bruises from blood tests you should tell your GP. During or after a blood test you may feel faint. Tell the Phlebotomist if you feel weak or dizzy so that they can help you feel more comfortable.

Results

It is important that you follow up and find out the results of your blood tests.  You may have been asked to make a follow-up appointment to discuss your blood tests. If you are phoning for results please allow about 1 week before calling the surgery (your GP will inform you if the test may take longer to come back)

Normal results: The receptionist may be able to tell you over the phone if all the tests were normal.

Abnormal results: The GPs review all the results and will contact you if there is anything that needs to be discussed urgently. If not, they may contact you by phone / letter or wait for you to phone in. Ideally you should speak with the GP who requested the results.

 

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