AN issue with the national supply of components used for blood tests has not affected patients in Worcestershire as badly as was first believed.

The NHS say they were able to overcome the problem which initially led to GP surgeries in Worcestershire being told to suspend nearly all appointments for blood tests last week.

A spokesperson for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands said: “We have been supporting health systems with responding to a national supply issue affecting some pathology activity. As a region we are facilitating mutual aid to ensure areas have the stock they need to carry out urgent work and will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds.”

Pharmaceutical company Roche, which supplies blood tests said it moved warehouses to a new national distribution centre last month and faced ‘a number of unforeseen issues which are delaying the dispatch of some products.’

The Worcester News has learned that before the weekend there was a concern about the supply of certain items so a letter was sent out to GPs asking them to prioritise urgent blood tests and cancel non urgent tests if needed.

But over the weekend deliveries were made which improved the situation and relieved some of the backlog. Worcestershire now expects some more deliveries.

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire system is being supported by others via mutual aid where necessary, by redistributing stock to practices which need it more than others. This also has helped clinicians keep on top of the situation.

Last week Roche said: “The current issue with the dispatch of products in the UK has not and will not affect our commitment to supply Covid-19 tests.

“We are confident that the plans we have put in place will deliver significant improvements by the weekend to the supply of the tests affected by these logistical issues. We will be well on the way to resolution by the end of next week."