NON urgent blood tests are to restart in Eastbourne and Polegate.

We reported recently that the blood tests had been stopped.

Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche said problems with a move to a new warehouse had led to a “very significant” drop in its processing capacity.

Now the situation has changed.

A spokesperson for NHS East Sussex CCG said:

“As services worked together to understand the impact of the national issue, an initial request was sent out to GP practices across Sussex to prioritise urgent blood tests, and postpone where possible routine tests.

We are very sorry for anyone this impacted on but it was agreed that this was a necessary step to allow these essential services to understand the extent of the issue, whilst ensuring that all urgent tests could still be prioritised and delivered.

Deliveries are coming through and mutual aid has been provided so make sure that together we could reduce any impact on patients.

As the situation continued to develop, organisations have had daily calls to report on stock changes, deliveries and mutual aid, and on Friday 09 October East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust agreed it was satisfied with its stock levels to all GP practices to resume all blood tests once more.

We are sorry to any patients who had their appointment and blood test cancelled during that time and we hope this can be rearranged quickly and easily for them.”

Background:

The NHS in Sussex has been working to provide a system wide response to the national Roche supply issue since 07 October.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust (BSUH), East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, and Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) use Roche for their pathology services and so have all been working together, and with wider acute hospital partners and the CCG, to manage any impact of the national issue on local services.

It is important to be clear this relates to chemistry only, and haematology, Microbiology and Histology are unaffected everywhere in Sussex.

All organisations are continuing to monitor the situation and together they are working effectively to share supplies and manage demand on these essential services. Supplies are coming to local services from Roche and whilst it is not a stable delivery service at the current time, this is only a temporary issue and we have the partnership working in place to reduce the impact to patients.