UK secures millions of blood tubes amid threat of shortages
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 31/08/2021
Millions of blood tubes have been secured by the United Kingdom following a warning of shortages.
The British Medical Association (BMA) had said shortages across hospitals and GP surgeries were “severe” and “even the most clinically important blood tests may be at risk” if the NHS did not reduce usage.
On Tuesday, it was announced medical technology company Becton Dickinson (BD) had received “exceptional use authorisation” to import blood tubes.
The tubes are approved for use in other countries, including the United States.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We have secured tens of millions of additional blood tubes, including importing additional supplies from the EU and the US, which will be available to the NHS soon and there continues to be stock in place to ensure clinically urgent testing continues.
“Patient safety is always the top priority and we continue to work closely with NHS England, the devolved administrations, and the NHS to minimise any impact on patient care.”
Nine million additional tubes will be supplied to the NHS this week for “immediate distribution,” and BD said it has completed improvements to its manufacturing facility in the UK that has “increased production capacity by 20%” to alleviate the backlog of orders.
NHS England had issued guidance amid a global shortage and the BMA’s council deputy chair, Dr David Wrigley, had labelled the situation a “crisis” which put doctors in “terrible, unenviable positions”.
On 26 August, NHS bosses also wrote to GPs and hospital trusts warning that supply was “forecasted to become even more constrained over the coming weeks”.
All primary care and community testing must stop until September 17, except for “clinically urgent” testing.
Acute and mental health trusts were also told to reduce their demand by a minimum of 25% for the period.
© Sky News 2020