The Friends have extended their support of the Friends Blood Taking Unit with the donation of a vein viewer.

The viewer helps the phlebotomists detect difficult to locate veins in patients who have small veins for a variety of clinical reasons. The viewer uses Infrared light which illuminates the blood in the veins as shown in the photograph.

This enables the phlebotomists to take samples from these patients more quickly and so with less stress for all concerned. In some cases in the past a number of patients have had to be referred to the hospital in Coventry. The Unit at St Cross is the first one in the Coventry and Warwickshire Pathology Network to use this equipment and the other units are hoping to follow their lead in due course.

At the UHCW NHS Trust AGM, which was held in Out Patients at St Cross there was further praise and thanks for the teamwork that created the Friends Blood Taking Unit from both Andy Hardy, CEO of the Trust and Neil Anderson, Director of Pathology Services. Neil gave a well received presentation at the AGM and made special mention of the support from the Friends of St Cross and the leadership and drive of Juliet Starkey, the Group Manager at St Cross, and Michelle Giles, the Senior Phlebotomist, whose vision and passion for the new unit was key to achieving the success of the project together with support from the Trust Executive and Estates department as well as the rest of the Pathology Network.

Neil was delighted to report that the Trust is now delivering a better service to patients, a better environment for patients and staff with more motivated staff. He emphasised that waiting times have improved – patients are bled within 30mins. The car park is now up and running which is a massive plus for all patients! The morale of the staff has improved significantly.

The team are now looking forward to a number of further improvements including late night opening, Saturday morning Out Patient service, wards phlebotomy service on a Sunday, dedicated appointments for children and an appointments system for patients which aim to achieve 15 mins waiting times for all patients.


Photo:  Phlebotomist Liz Bell demonstrates the new vein viewer on Lab Assistant Sue Kinnear’s arm!