The way patients will book blood tests at Watford General Hospital is changing next week.

A booking system will be replacing the current walk-in tests which are available at all West Hertfordshire NHS Trust hospitals.

The change will be from December, 14 in all three hospitals covered by the trust.

The appointments are available to book via the website which patients have been able to access since December 1.

Despite the change, some slots will still be available for urgent walk-in patients but the majority will be by appointment only.

A telephone helpline opens from Thursday, December 7, to help those without access to the internet and will operate from Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 1pm, 01727 897376.

Martin Keble, divisional director of clinical support services, said: “Our blood clinic teams see an average of 27,000 patients a month which can lead to overcrowding in our clinics. By introducing a booking system for blood tests, we can spread appointments evenly throughout the day.

“We recognise that walk-in clinics have suited some patients, however, we are confident that booked appointments will provide a better experience and reduce waiting times in clinics for all patients.”