NHS England has published recommended actions for medical directors, nursing directors, GPs and pathology laboratories to optimise resources for pathology laboratory work.
In light of global shortages of blood tube products (not just those from Beckton Dickinson), this guidance applies to every site regardless of system being used in order to balance demand.
The recommendations (link below) have been produced by NHSE with clinical experts from pathology teams, primary care and acute care, including input from Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath), Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine (ACB), Genomics Implementation Unit (NHSE) and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), as a guide to local optimisation of resources during this time.
On the 26 August, NHSE issued an update that the supply position remains constrained and is forecasted to become even more constrained over the coming weeks. While it is anticipated that the position will improve from the middle of September, overall supply is likely to remain challenging for a significant period.
As a result, NHSE have written to GPs, NHS trust leaders and ICS, STP and CCG directors to say all primary care and community testing must be halted until 17 September 2021, except for clinically urgent testing. The letter also instructed that acute and mental health trusts must reduce their demand by a minimum of 25% for the three-week period up to 17 September 2021.