In their words – How Malinko is supporting phlebotomy visits in Luton

April 5th, 2022

Sarah Munroe, Service Manager – Blood Services and Heart Failure Team, Luton Children and Adults Community Health Services. 

Meeting the needs of household patients

At Luton Children and Adults Community Health Services (part of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust), our phlebotomy service book and take thousands of blood tests per year. We have clinics five days a week, at times two couches running, and also carry out domiciliary visits. In total, our team consists of 20 staff including admin. 

Phlebotomy used to sit in a more remote setting, however on integration with Luton Blood Services, we have been better able to meet the needs of the housebound patients by separating out the phlebotomy service, allowing other community services more time for specific care that they need to deliver.  

Before Malinko was implemented in Jan 2020, patient demand was easily visible in our EPR system, SystmOne, but the process of allocating community visits was very manual and prone to error. Each phlebotomist had a ledger for an area with the number of visits they’d complete. If a change was required, for example if someone was off sick, it could take between five and 30 minutes to change everything around. 

How Malinko helped

Malinko not only automates the scheduling of home visits for our staff but it’s easy to see immediately what is needed for community patients who are often frail and elderly. Patients may need to be fasting while waiting for a procedure, so everything is scheduled in the order that it needs to be done.  

The implementation of Malinko was led by the clinicians who suggested it, so they knew how to make it work for them. It’s really helped with organisation and management of caseloads and most importantly is making the service better for patients. 

Originally, we started using Malinko in both clinics and homes but soon realised that demographic info isn’t needed for people coming in for bloods. Patients who attend clinic are generally in better health and don’t have the complex care requirements of those at home. So, we now just use it in community – and it works. 

The training and support we’ve received from Roisin and the team, in addition to our own training programme, has been important. Admin is crucial to our team’s success, so we have focussed in this area, training four admin and two healthcare assistants who may need to step in to cover holidays or other staff absences.   

The introduction of ‘time to lab’ and lunchtimes means staff have protected time in their schedule. Caseloads are streamlined, staff feel reassured with the lone-working safety features, and visits are coordinated efficiently and effectively. Our clinicians don’t just like Malinko, they LOVE it! 

If you’d like to speak to us about the possibility of using Malinko for your team or service, get in touch.