Practices receive £5.52 for each phlebotomy appointment for chemotherapy pre-assessment under a deal agreed with Leeds LMC. This is designed to cover appointment time and related administration.
Dr Simon Stockill, GP clinical chairman at NHS Leeds, said the service was likely to involve one or two patients per practice.
‘Patients with cancer are usually well known to practice staff already and visiting the local practice to have a blood test is usually a much more convenient option,’ he said.
‘This scheme will improve the experience of patients at an already difficult time in their lives and it is something most GPs will be very happy to provide.’
The service was developed following suggestions from patients, according to Krystina Kozlowska, lead cancer nurse at St James's University Hospital in Leeds.
‘Service users involved in the local cancer commissioning group expressed the opinion that their experience would be improved if the number of visits they made to hospital were reduced,’ she said.
‘They requested that pathways be altered to enable blood samples to be obtained at their GP practices.’
Ms Kozlowska added that the service would rely upon patients booking their own appointments at the right time. ‘We don’t yet know how well this will work,’ she said.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is now looking at other ways to improve patient experience, including introducing an option of telephone follow-up for chemotherapy patients.