New booking system for blood appointments

Booking a blood test appointment at clinics across the Wigan Borough can now be completed in a few simple clicks, thanks to a new online booking system at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL).

At the end of March 2022, using tech funding received from NHS Digital, WWL procured the Dedalus Swiftqueue self-service appointment booking system, giving patients the capability to book appointments online.

This means patients using WWL’s blood test services (Phlebotomy) can now book themselves into an appointment slot at their chosen clinic without the need to call the Trust’s Appointment Centre. With approximately 4,800 appointments per week across 16 WWL locations, this new solution will help to significantly streamline this process for patients.

Martyn Smith, Associate Director of Information Management and Technology (IM&T) at WWL said: “The system was implemented in only six weeks which is a huge achievement. In the first few days of go live, thousands of bookings were made using the new digital tech, providing a far better experience for our patients and it has released pressure and time for our internal appointment centre teams, allowing them time to support those who need it.”

Since the system went live in the middle of May, call waiting times have significantly reduced, with more than 3,000 appointments made online in the first week alone and 8,411 appointments booked to date.

Mary Fleming, WWL Deputy Chief Executive said: “As the Trust’s previous ‘drop in’ service had to be stopped as part of our COVID-19 response, the number of calls to book blood tests had steadily increased to around 3,500 per week.

“This is the first WWL service to offer online booking, where patients can register and book or reschedule their own appointments. The Phlebotomy Team, Health Care Operations Team and Project Team have worked very hard to achieve such a quick and safe launch of this service – they should be very proud.”

The new booking service is just one of the many new initiatives being implemented at WWL as part of the Trust’s Digital Strategy with the promise of digitally enhancing healthcare for all.

WWL’s continual investments into digital technology have allowed patients to access health services from the comfort of their homes, including use of virtual wards, virtual outpatient consultations and e-prescribing.

Colin Henderson, Managing Director for UK & Ireland for Dedalus, the company behind the software added:"Through the Swiftqueue platform we have offered WWL a capability that greatly improves the workflow of their appointment management. A real advantage is how quickly the technology has been deployed as NHS Trusts find themselves under continuing pressure to manage waiting lists." 

To use the online booking service visit