‘Grave concern’ that home of first test tube baby short of test tubes

Crompton Liberal Democrat Councillor Louie Hamblett has written to the newly appointed local NHS supremo Mike Barker to express his grave concerns that shortages in medical supplies will impact on patient health over the autumn, with blood tests and flu shots being rationed.

Councillor Hamblett, who serves as Shadow Cabinet Member for Heath & Social Care, wrote to the new Interim Accountable Officer of the Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group, Mike Barker, over the recent shortages of test tubes which will prevent some patients receiving their annual blood screening tests at this time. On top of this, Louie was alarmed to hear news that flu vaccinations may also be limited by a shortage of supplies.

Commenting, Councillor Hamblett said: “Oldham has been especially hard hit by Covid-19 and sadly many of our residents also suffer from ongoing chronic ill health. A shortage of test tubes means less blood testing; testing essential to monitor the status of patients with existing serious health conditions and to test patients for possible new diseases.

“With a huge collective effort by medical and support staff, this year we have vaccinated most of our residents from Covid-19 vaccinations, but at a time when local GP’s and clinics gear up to begin booking flu shots for those eligible, a worrying lack of supplies may mean hold-ups”.

“My fear is that the current disquieting situation will mean existing patients needing blood tests needlessly suffer and new patients remain undiagnosed and that our good work on Covid-19 could be undone if we are hit with a seasonal flu epidemic that may be deadly to our vulnerable residents with a weakened immune system,” added Councillor Hamblett.

Councillor Hamblett hopes for a quick resolution to the current medical shortages. “It is completely unacceptable that in Oldham, the home of the world’s first test tube baby, test tubes are now at a premium. I really hope we can see some positive movement on this issue, and soon, for the future health of the people of this borough.”

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