• Phlebotomy
Changes to the Phlebotomy Service from Thurs 1 Dec

Chages to the Phlebotomy Service


Changes to the Phlebotomy Service from Thursday 1 December 2016

From Thursday 1 December, appointments for blood tests with the Phlebotomy Service are changing.


The new service will be delivered as a drop-in service which can be accessed Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm offering greater flexibility and convenience for patients.  


Changes to the service have been in response to patient and practice feedback about appointment availability and to ensure that we can continue to deliver a clinically safe service within the finances available.


Routine and urgent blood tests: For routine and urgent blood tests a drop-in service will run Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm at the following clinics:


Patients will be seen in order of arrival and waiting times will vary.


Housebound patients: If you are housebound, your GP can arrange for you to have an appointment at home.


Glucose Tolerance Tests: If you have been referred for a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) you can call the Centralised Booking Service on 0151 514 2222 and request a timeslot which suits your circumstances.


Not all Wirral GP practices use the trust’s phlebotomy service. If you’re unsure, please check with your GP practice. 



Phlebotomy FAQs


Changes to the trust’s Phlebotomy Service are essential to reduce waiting times and improve access to the service.

Find out what the changes are and why they’re being introduced in our FAQs below:

New service model

Why are you changing the Phlebotomy Service?

Blood tests are used to assess a patient’s general health or existing health condition and need to be carried out in a safe timeframe. Existing difficulties with appointment allocation and attendance has led to long waiting times for routine and urgent appointments which puts patients at risk.

The changes to the service will reduce waiting times and mean that we can carry out an additional 1000 blood test appointments every week. Patients can choose the day of week, the time and the venue for their blood test offering greater flexibility than is currently offered.

For patients who are housebound, home visits can be arranged via your GP.

What has been happening?

Each GP practice has had a set day and set number of phlebotomy appointments allocated. At some practices, a large number of appointments were unfilled or unattended whilst at others the demand exceeded the number of available appointments. This led to long waiting times which impacted on patient safety as blood tests need to be taken within a safe timeframe.

The service needed to change to ensure that patients could continue to receive a safe service. A number of options for how the service could work, within the finances available, were put forward to Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and GP Practices for discussion.
The redesigned service that starts 1 December 2016 is the service model that was agreed with the CCG.

Does this affect all GP practices?

Not all GP practices use the trust’s Phlebotomy Service so please check with your practice to see if the changes affect you.

Please be aware that we are unable to carry out blood tests for anyone registered with a GP practice that is not part of the Phlebotomy Services contract.

Why are you stopping blood test appointments?

We are not stopping blood test appointments.

Why are you reducing the service?

We are not reducing the service. The service sees over 200,000 patients every year and the changes that are being made are essential to reduce waiting times and protect patient safety. The new service will actually be able to carry out 1000 more blood test appointments a week which means that we will be able to see more patients and keep waiting times down.

How it works 

How will the new service work?

For routine and urgent blood tests it will be run as a drop-in service, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm at the following venues:


  • St Catherine’s Health Centre
  • Eastham Clinic
  • Victoria Central Out Patients Department
  • All Day Health Centre, Arrowe Park Hospital

For patients who need a glucose tolerance test you will be able to book an appointment at one of the clinics in advance by calling our Centralised Booking Service on tel: 0151 514 2222.

If you are housebound please speak to your GP about arranging a home visit.

Will there be a ticketing / booking system on arrival?


The staff on reception will book patients in on arrival from 8.30am and you will be called in order of arrival.


If patients arrive early will they be able to book themselves in then or have to wait until 8.30am?


Patients will not be able to book themselves in. The staff on the reception desks will be able to book patients in from 8.30am.


Why can’t you run later (evening) clinics for those who work?


All blood samples have to reach the labs at Arrowe Park Hospital for processing by 5pm so unfortunately we are unable to offer evening clinics.


How long will my blood test appointment be?


Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete.



Waiting times

Will there be long waiting times?

Until the new service starts we are unable to predict waiting times but we will be closely monitoring them once the service has started.

When you arrive for your blood test we will give you an estimate of waiting times based on the number of patients before you.

Overall, the new service means that patients will no longer have to wait weeks for an available appointment slot.


How long will my appointment take?


The average blood test takes five minutes and each site will have a minimum of two phlebotomists.


Is the service provided as part of the walk-in centre?


No. Although we will be holding phlebotomy clinics at the same venues as some of our walk-in centres, it is a separate service with trained Phlebotomists on site. The walk-in centre and phlebotomy service have separate waiting times. Waiting times for the walk-in centre will not impact on the phlebotomy service.





I’m worried about the time it will take for those who don’t drive or have access to a car, especially the elderly or those with children

We are updating information on our website for each venue which includes travel details including bus and train information.

Patients who are unable to get to a clinic can speak to their GP about the possibility of arranging a home visit for their blood test.

I’m concerned about the time taken travelling for those who need regular blood tests?

Patients were waiting too long for appointments under the previous service model so change was necessary. However, this does mean that some patients may need to travel further for their appointments.




Will there be charges for parking?

At Victoria Central, Eastham Clinic and St Catherine’s Health Centre there is free onsite car parking.
At the All Day Health Centre (Arrowe Park) there is free car parking for up to 3.5 hours.


Have a question we haven’t answered?

If you have a query which hasn’t been answered here please send your question to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Last Updated: Thursday, 01 December 2016 16:03

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