Jadavji Patel, pharmacy manager and superintendent pharmacist at Caxton Pharmacy in Bromley, tells Saša Janković why he’s started offering customers a phlebotomy service.

Service type: Phlebotomy service

Name and location of pharmacy: Caxton Pharmacy, Bromley, London

Name of superintendent pharmacist: Jadavji Patel

Why did you start offering this service?

Our pharmacy is in the centre of Bromley, and we already offer our customers an extensive range of NHS and private services including a busy walk-in travel health clinic, ED and sexual health services, and flu vaccinations, but we are always on the lookout for extra services we can provide. We started offering a phlebotomy service in summer 2022.

What, if any, training did you or other team members have to undergo?

We offer both vascular and capillary blood tests, provided by London Medical Laboratory (LML). In order to do so, we attended their in-person practical training session, followed by carrying out ten test cases on volunteers in our own time which we had to video and send in.

In a nutshell, what does the service involve?

There are a wide range of blood tests for a variety of conditions, as well as general health checks, and we offer our customers as many of these as we can.

The vascular tests we perform in the pharmacy and send the sample back to the lab by courier, with the patient usually receiving the results the next day. If they consent, we can receive the results in the pharmacy so they can come and collect them from us and get any additional advice that they might need.

We also sell the capillary testing kits that customers can buy and do at home and then send off to the lab themselves.

Are there any opportunities to sell OTC or prescription products during or after the consultation?

LML has its own doctors who review the test results and write a short report for the patient, but if the person wants more information, they can always come back to us for further advice.

How have patients responded to the service?

Patients are very happy that they can get this kind of service done in the pharmacy, and they also like the fact that the test results are reviewed by a doctor.

Roughly how often each month do you carry out the service?

We have done about one a week so far and are hopeful this number will increase and the service will bring in new people as word gets around.

How much do you charge for the service?

The cost depends on the test, but the capillary tests start from about £30 onwards.

Would you recommend offering this service to other contractors?

Yes, if you have the space and capacity and time to do it, it’s a good idea and a great example of what community pharmacy is capable of.