Rugby’s brand new blood-taking unit is now open to patients, thanks to an outstanding appeal by the Friends of St Cross and the people of Rugby.

The Friends raised an incredible £120,000 to help build the new Friends Blood Taking Unit, which is located on the site of the old Mulberry Ward, next to the Chapel in the Hospital of St Cross.

The new blood-taking unit is a big step forward for patients and the phlebotomy staff who work in it, and shows the Hospital of St Cross leading the way in improving phlebotomy care.  The renovation has created a more pleasant environment for patients to have blood taken.

Last year 77,000 outpatients had blood taken at the Hospital of St Cross.  The new unit has extra capacity, and more staff are now available, meaning that patients can benefit from an improved service.

Patients will be seated in the waiting area then called by name through to the cubicles, where a phlebotomist will visit them to take their blood.  The new system is designed to be more comfortable for patients, and more efficient for blood-taking staff.

The new unit has been designed with input from Rugby Disability Forum, to create a modern facility unique to St Cross which also meets high clinical standards.

Patients and carers will continue to benefit from free 30 minute parking for phlebotomy visits at the Hospital of St Cross.

Andy Hardy, Chief Executive Officer at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW), said:

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the Friends of St Cross, and everyone who donated money to this appeal. Without their excellent fundraising efforts, we would not have been able to provide this fantastic new facility for our patients.

 Joan Jesson, President of the Friends of St Cross, said:  

When we launched the Friends Diamond Jubilee Appeal last year our aim was to celebrate 2015, our Diamond Jubilee year, by supporting this project to provide a much needed new phlebotomy unit at The Hospital of St. Cross. The response to the Appeal has been magnificent, enabling us to continue meeting requests whilst committing £130,000 to this project. 

This would not have been possible without the generous support of the community at large including local businesses, organisations, and the general public of Rugby and the surrounding areas who have supported the Charity, and through us the hospital and local community and mental health services, for the past sixty years. I am sure the patients using this unit will receive a much improved experience during their visits and that the community will continue to support the Charity and together we will make a difference for all concerned.

 Neil Anderson, Clinical Director for Pathology at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW), said:

"We are hugely grateful to the Friends of St Cross Hospital and the kind and generous contributions from the residents of Rugby in supporting the new Phlebotomy Unit at the Hospital of St Cross. With the improved unit, patients and staff will be able to benefit from more space and great new facilities in both the waiting and blood-taking areas. We also hope to be able to offer appointments in the new year.”

 Willy Goldschmidt, Vice-Chairman of the Friends of St Cross said

"The Friends Diamond Jubilee Appeal was launched in June 2014 with the aim of raising at least £60,000.  The Charity committed £130,000 to the Blood Taking Unit relocation project, expecting to make up the balance from reserves.  As a result of the success of the Appeal the Charity has been able to continue to respond to other requests for support.  The Appeal will continue until the end of 2015, the Charity's Jubilee Year, and to date has received over £120,000."