A SUSPENSION of blood tests for patients in Ruthin has been partially lifted.

The service had been put on hold at the town’s community hospital last month. Stafffing problems meant people who needed the tests had to travel either to Denbigh or Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

But the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) is working to bring in new staff to get the service back up and running.

In the meantime blood testing will be available at the community hospital on Fridays.

A spokesman for the health board said: “Work is ongoing to resume our full blood test service at Ruthin Hospital.

“We have appointed two new members of staff which will enable us to resume the delivery of blood testing, and are working to ensure they start their new roles as soon as possible.

“Appointments will be available to patients in Ruthin on Fridays throughout May, starting this Friday, May 10. There will be 328 available phlebotomy appointments in total this month.

“Patients can alternatively book an appointment at Denbigh Infirmary for blood services. Appointments for urgent blood tests are available every day in Denbigh, and in Ruthin every Friday.”

There was praise for the health board’s efforts from Ruthin councillor Emrys Wynne.

He said: “I welcome this move by BCUHB as a short term arrangement to enable blood tests to continue at Ruthin Hospital. It is important that normal blood testing service should continue at the hospital as soon as the staffing issues are resolved.

"Patients who are unable to attend Ruthin or Denbigh hospitals should be able to utilise the services of the district nurses who will attend patients to take blood where required.”

However his fellow Ruthin county councillor, Huw Hilditch-Roberts, argued a full time solution was urgently required.

“This part meets the need but there is a huge demand in the Ruthin area. The lack of communication from Betsi on this has been disappointing. We welcome that part of the service will be restored, however full service needs to be restored.

"This has put massive pressure on the GP service and the hospital staff. Its now time Betsi demonstrates its commitment to more local service and planning ahead much better.”