Devon residents needing ‘clinically urgent’ blood tests have been assured they will still be able to have them – despite a national shortage of equipment.
A ‘global supply issue’ has been blamed for a lack of blood tubes which is impacting the number of tests which can be carried out.
The shortage means surgeries and other healthcare settings are having to restrict the number of blood tests they can administer.
However, local clinical leaders have reassured patients that tests will only be deferred where it is ‘clinically safe to do so’.
NHS bosses in Devon say the situation is predicted to get worse in the coming weeks and ‘supply is likely to remain challenging for a significant period’.
It is hoped the position will improve from the mid-September.
Dr Paul Johnson, clinical chair of the NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “A supplier to the NHS has advised us of a global shortage of some equipment used for taking blood tests.
“Anyone who needs a test for urgent health problems will still get one but, where your clinician recommends that it’s safe to do so, you may be asked to come back for a test at a later date, or your appointment may be rescheduled.
“Given the nature of the shortage, we have not been given an exact date for when tests will be rescheduled, but please be assured that if your condition or symptoms require it, then you will get a test, and the NHS will be re-booking your test when supplies become more easily available.
“If your condition or symptoms change or get worse, please contact the NHS as you would normally.”