How to access private blood tests in the UK

By Pippa Thompson

Private blood testing in the UK has in the past seemed expensive and inaccessible. However, two things have changed – the private healthcare sector has grown and become more flexible in its accessibility and the internet now allows tests to be booked quickly and easily.

Online blood testing services
There are now a number of online blood testing services in the UK that can be accessed easily in order to provide you with timely pathology results. There is a choice of having a test at a local private hospital or undertaking the test yourself at home using a postal kit. Each method is described in more detail below.

Attending a private hospital for a wider range of tests
If you are looking for an all-inclusive service where everything is done for you then you should definitely attend a private hospital. www.privatebloodtests.co.uk provides a referral to Spire Healthcare Hospitals whilst www.privatebloodtests.com provides a referral to Nuffield Health Hospitals.

Within reason appointments can be made to suit your needs and are usually available within 24-48 hours. Each of these services is inclusive of a private GP referral, phlebotomy fees (blood taking), laboratory fees. Results are then sent to you shortly after your visit, along with help in interpreting them in the form of relevant comments from a private doctor.

Please note that you do not need a referral from your NHS GP in order to access any of these services. Results from tests conducted at private hospitals will not be sent to your GP, just directly to you in strict confidence. Once you have had the results you are under no obligation to share these with your GP. If the tests highlight any areas of concern then of course it may be prudent to do so.

Postal blood test kits
If for whatever reason you are not able to attend a hospital then a number of tests can be organised by post. You can order these online, for example from www.bluehorizonmedicals.co.uk.

There are two main types of postal kits, depending on the type of sample required for the test. For many of the standard standalone tests a microtainer (finger prick) kit is sufficient. These kits are posted first class to you and the sample can then be collected at home with little or no help. Turnaround is extremely quick, with results often available on the same day as the receipt of the sample back to the testing facility.

If the test requires a larger profile in order to look at more of the systems in the body, then a Vacutainer kit will be sent to you by post. The larger sample of blood required is drawn with the help of a trained phlebotomist and we put you touch with someone local to you for this purpose. The sample is then sent back by post in the same way and the results are emailed to you straightaway in complete confidence.

Smartblood
Smartblood provides an advanced and comprehensive blood test profile. The service can be booked online at www.smartblood.co.uk. You are able to choose the most convenient private hospital to use for the test and we have a network of over 30 private hospitals across the UK.

The Smartblood Advanced Blood Test examines 14 key areas as shown in the graphic below. In addition, you are able to choose an additional factor to be tested, such as thyroid or arthritis, to suit your individual requirements.

Please note that you do not need to be part of any existing private health insurance scheme in order to access our private hospital partners for these Smartblood services and you will be made very welcome by the hospital’s teams.

The benefits of a private blood test
Whatever method of testing you choose, think of a comprehensive blood test as a timely MOT test for your health. As the illustration above shows, there are so many indicators that just one simple test can reveal, any of which can be an early warning alert of possible future issues or the answer to a puzzle about symptoms you may already have.

Finding out about an existing health condition or knowing of the risks of developing a disease are far more preferable than finding out about a condition once it is well extablished so a comprehensive private blood test could just be the best investment you make, by flagging up issues at the earliest possible opportunity. So why not organize a private blood test for you and your family NOW? After all, right now it’s quicker, easier and more convenient than ever before.

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