Under an NHS pilot scheme, shoppers at an Asda store can now get a “convenient” hospital blood test taken as they do their weekly shop.
The West Bromwich supermarket has teamed up with Birmingham City Hospital and Sandwell Hospital to deliver the service to patients.
Rob Ashley, pathology manager at the hospital, said: “It’s really good for the patients, it’s about convenience.
“Rather than going all the way to the hospital, where they have to pay to park and wait with all the other patients, they can get it done at local sites – like Asda.”
The blood tests are taken by a qualified phlebotomist away from where any food is sold, and the samples are later sent to the hospital to be analysed.
Any patient within the catchment area who has been given a referral letter from their GP has the choice to have their sample taken at the supermarket rather than the hospital.
The pilot scheme, which began in September last year, has already proved “popular” with patients. It is being trialled until April.
Copyright © Press Association 2009
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