Updated 7 April 2016
A blood test is taking a sample of blood for testing in a laboratory. Blood tests have a wide range of uses and are one of the most common types of medical test.
For example, a blood test can be used to assess your general state of health, confirm the presence of a bacterial or viral infection, see how well certain organs (such as the liver and kidneys) are functioning or screen for certain genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis or spinal muscular atrophy.
Read about some common types of blood test on the NHS Choices website.
Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete and are carried out at your GP surgery or local hospital.
Whether or not you need to book an appointment for a blood test depends on who has referred you:
If your GP requests that you have your bloods taken, you will need to contact your GP practice to book an appointment for a blood test.
If you see a hospital doctor or hospital nurse and they request that you have your bloods taken, you will need to attend one of our phlebotomy clinics listed below. These are all a drop-in service - no appointment necessary* - first come, first served.
For children up to the age of 6, appointments for blood tests must be made with the Childrens Day Unit with a referral from the GP. Children up to the age of 12 may also use this service.
Colchester General Hospital
Monday - Thursday 8.30am-4.15pm
*appointments required for Glucose Tolerance Tests, Sweat tests and Cryoglobulin
Please note that we no longer take blood at Essex County Hospital, Colchester.