Patients sometimes need to undergo blood tests to aid the diagnosis of illnesses. Blood tests are undertaken in our outpatient departments and wards by Phlebotomists.
To access the outpatient services, patients need a blood test referral form from their Consultant or GP. Children aged below 10 years are seen by appointment only in our Paediatric Outpatients’ clinic.
Blood tests have a wide range of uses and are one of the most common types of medical test.
For example, a blood test can be used to:
Outpatients department 4, Level B. Monday to Friday 08.30-17:30, last ticket issued at 17.25. This clinic is currently for patients referred by clinicians from Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and GP’s. We can only see patients aged 10 and above in this clinic, appointments for children aged below 10 are seen by appointment only, see information below.
St. Luke’s Outpatients, Level B. Monday to Friday 08:30 to 16:30, last ticket issued at 16:20. This clinic is for patients attending St Luke’s Cancer Centre.
Please Note: If there is a high demand the issuing of tickets may be withdrawn to allow the service to finish on time. Should the issuing of tickets be withdrawn before stated times, a notice to that effect will be displayed.
Paediatric Outpatients 6, Level B. Clinics on Wednesday and alternate Thursdays and Fridays. By appointment only by phoning Ext. 6944.
The healthcare professional who arranges your blood test will tell you whether there are any specific instructions you need to follow before your test.
For example, depending on the type of blood test, you may be asked to:
It's important to follow the instructions you're given, as it may affect the result of the test leading to delay or the need for blood to be taken again.
Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete and are carried out by a phlebotomist (a specialist in taking blood samples).
The usual place for a sample to be taken from is the inside of the elbow where the veins are relatively close to the surface.
When taking blood samples from children, their skin may be numbed with a special spray or cream before the sample is taken.
A tight band (tourniquet) is put around your upper arm. This squeezes the arm temporarily, slowing down the flow of blood and causing the vein to swell, making it easier for a sample to be taken.
Before taking the sample, the phlebotomist will clean the area of skin with an antiseptic wipe.
A needle attached to a special container is inserted into the vein to draw out a sample of your blood. You may feel a slight pricking or scratching sensation as the needle goes in, but it shouldn't be painful. If you don't like needles and blood, tell the person who is taking the sample so they can make you more comfortable.
When the sample has been taken, the tourniquet will be released, and the needle will be removed. Pressure is applied to the skin for a few minutes using gauze. A plaster may be put on the area to keep it clean.
Only a small amount of blood is taken during the test so you shouldn't feel any significant after-effects. However, some people feel dizzy and faint during and after the test. If this has happened to you in the past, tell the person carrying out the test so they're aware and can help you feel more comfortable.
After the test, you may have a small bruise where the needle went in. Bruises can be painful, but are usually harmless and fade over the next few days.
After the blood sample has been taken, it will be put into a bottle and labelled with your name and details. It will then be sent to a laboratory where the specified tests will be carried out.
The results are sent back to the Consultant or to your GP, results are not available from phlebotomy. Some test results will be ready the same day or a few days later, although others may not be available for a few weeks.
We value your feedback in relation to your experience when visiting phlebotomy. In each of our waiting areas you will find Friends and Family cards which, once completed, can be placed in the box provided.