King George Hospital and Queen’s Hospital are now offering blood testing only by appointment and providing phone appointments to limit the spread of coronavirus

From today (March 23), patients will have a phone assessment before receiving an appointment and anyone high-risk or who may have COVID-19 will be asked to defer.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust is offering telephone appointments across almost 700 clinics.

A spokesperson said on Friday (March 20) that more than 7,600 patients had been able to receive care over the phone, avoiding possible exposure to the virus.

The trust’s chief medical officer Magda Smith, who held her own telephone clinic this week, said: “This has been great as it saves us, and our patients, time.

“The patients I’ve spoken to have been really relieved as in many cases they are anxious about coming into hospital. It’s also a great way to protect our older and more vulnerable patients.

“However, patients who need to have face-to-face consultations will still have them.”

Patients are given an appointment time when the doctor will call them to discuss their ongoing care and treatment.

An updated list of blood test venues and contact numbers is available here.