View from the House: Long wait for blood tests is unacceptable

PUBLISHED: 08:30 24 October 2020

Dame Margaret Hodge is fighting for better local healthcare.

Dame Margaret Hodge is fighting for better local healthcare.


Once again Covid-19 is making it increasingly difficult for us all to live our day to day lives.

Most worrying though is the added strain the NHS faces and how this has impacted our access to high quality healthcare in the community.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with blood tests.

In Barking and Dagenham the wait for a test is anywhere between eight and 13 weeks. This is completely unacceptable; nobody should be waiting until after Christmas to get a blood test.

I have written to the health secretary demanding that the government intervene, providing extra resources so everyone can get speedy access to a routine blood test.

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Elsewhere in London the wait for a test is just a few days, yet in Barking and Dagenham we are forced to wait weeks and weeks. We deserve a world-class health service too.

The long wait for a blood test will mean delays for operations and could also lead to a serious illness going undiagnosed for months. Many people need regular blood tests because of a long-term health condition, yet they have been unable to get a blood test all year! This is dangerous and unsustainable.

I will keep pushing the government to intervene and help fix our local testing service. With winter just around the corner they need to act fast otherwise services will struggle to cope.

If you have been struggling to book a blood test or are facing difficulties elsewhere with getting access to healthcare, then please get in touch and I will do all I can to support you.

Everyone in Barking and Dagenham deserves access to world-class healthcare and I will keep fighting for just that.

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