Changes to way blood samples are collected at Huntly GP surgery
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NHS Grampian has implemented changes to how blood tests are collected by GP surgeries, including in Huntly.
The move is to address the reduction in appointments now available with GPs who are having to implement new procedures where face-to-face care is required as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The procedures include wearing extra PPE and enhanced cleaning.
An NHS Grampian spokesman explained: “This has impacted on the number of investigations for secondary (hospital) care which can be undertaken by surgeries – these can be needed before or after a hospital outpatient clinic or other secondary care and include blood tests requested by hospital staff.
“In the majority of cases, these are no longer being undertaken at GP surgeries, in order to allow them to provide more patient appointments.
“Where bloods are required to be taken on a certain day or urgently, these will still be undertaken at GP surgeries, but the vast majority of these tests will now be undertaken at new community hubs.”
Hubs have been established at the hospitals in Aboyne, Elgin, Forres, Fraserburgh, Stonehaven and Buckie and also within the Foresterhill Campus, and Inverurie Health and Care Hub.
The hubs operate on different days and patients can choose which is most convenient for them.
It is understood that other hubs will be created in due course.
Yvonne Wright, chief nurse, said: “We understand that some patients are concerned that it will be less convenient to attend one of our hubs – but please be assured that by doing so you are playing your part in helping create extra GP surgery capacity to support and treat others in your local community.
“Some have raised concerns at having to travel - the project is at an early stage and we are looking at further locations in the region to cut the distances anyone has to travel.
“The creation of the hubs has been vital to ensure, as far as possible, patient and frontline staff safety as we emerge from Covid-19, as well as protecting the ability of GP surgeries to ensure they have capacity to see patients.”