The team designed, developed and tested a national at home finger prick blood collection and testing service. This allows specialist doctors caring for patients with rare diseases, across the country to use the Trust’s bespoke digital portal to request blood collecting kits to be sent directly to the patient’s home.
The Blood Sciences Team at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) has been shortlisted for the HSJ Acute Sector Innovation of the Year Award, for their work on home blood testing services.
The team designed, developed and tested a national at home finger prick blood collection and testing service. This allows specialist doctors caring for patients with rare diseases, across the country to use the Trust’s bespoke digital portal to request blood collecting kits to be sent directly to the patient’s home. Blood is then collected by the patient from their finger and posted back to the central laboratory at the Royal Devon and Exeter for analysis. Results are then uploaded onto the dashboard for the clinical teams to review.
After the service went live in March 2021, the team performed over 600 blood tests in the first few months. As the samples were taken by patients at home without requiring a healthcare professional, this enabled vulnerable and shielding patients to avoid having to visit GP surgeries or hospitals and reduced face-to-face visits for most patients that often require routine blood tests as part of chronic disease management.
Tim McDonald, Laboratory Director, said: “We are really pleased that the HSJ judging panel has acknowledged our service. The Blood Sciences team at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital have worked extremely hard to undertake the research that underpins this development and then to have launched this innovative service, during a time when we were under significant pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is extremely gratifying for all of us that our service has benefited some of the most vulnerable children and adults in the country and has helped clinicians continue the highest level of care during this challenging time.”
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