A doctor’s surgery on the Powys border says it will stop carrying out blood tests next month because of a lack of funding for the service.

Health leaders at Bishops Castle Medical Practice say they will have to suspend phlebotomy services to safeguard the future of the practice, as they don’t receive enough money from the National Health Service to carry out the tests.

Patients needing blood tests in the Bishop's Castle area will instead be forced to go to other locations in the county, with the closest option a potential 90 minute round trip to Shrewsbury.

“Due to the chronic underfunding of primary care, we have taken the difficult decision to stop blood tests at the practice as of 22nd May 2024,” they said in a statement.

“This is not a decision we wanted to make and we are aware this will be very unpopular with all our patients, but unfortunately we cannot continue to provide the service.


“Taking blood and processing it for delivery to the lab is not a core GP service for which we are paid but one of several locally commissioned services which are paid for (or not) by the local integrated care board.

“We have approached Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care Board and asked for the funding to be increased for this service, so that we may continue to offer the level of care expected of us. At the time of publishing, we have had no offer of increased funding.

“Please do not complain to our reception team, they have not made this decision and will be following instructions from the partners. This decision has been made to safeguard the future of the practice.”

The practice says patients who need blood tests will instead have to book an appointment online, and face a 25-mile trip to Shrewsbury at least. Other locations include Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital or Whitchurch.

A petition to save the service hit 800 signatures in less than 24-hours.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust apologised to patients for a potential disruption in service and said it was working with the practice to explore options for continuing the service.

Get in touch

Share your views on this story by sending a letter to the editor. To get in touch email news@countytimes.co.uk, or fill in the form on this section of our website.

Vanessa Whatley, Interim Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin said:

“We are aware that Bishop’s Castle Medical Practice have informed its patients of their decision to stop phlebotomy (blood test) services from 22 May 2024. We are currently working with the practice to agree how to continue the service after this date.

“This includes exploring every option to meet the needs of the patients of Bishop’s Castle Medical Practice.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by this disruption in service. We are actively working to ensure continued access to essential healthcare services for all patients in the Bishop’s Castle area.”