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Vitamin B12 Reagent

We had a number of concerns from many of you about the recent email regarding lack of local availability of vitamin B12 blood tests, following this we have had a discussion with the Pathology team. As the issue was sudden global non-availability of Vitamin B12 reagents other labs had to take similar action too. In addition, not many other pathology services could take the workload of Leicester and hence the options were limited.

However, some further work has been done now and we have received reassurance that at limited scale, Kettering General Hospital (who use a different provider) could do some tests for us. But please note the reference range will be changed as it is a different assay. This arrangement will be in place from next Monday (11.2.19).

However, there is also a bigger issue about the number of vitamin B12 blood tests that are performed across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. There is a piece of work being undertaken which is reviewing the number of pathology tests we are doing and Vitamin B12 is one of the top 10 tests in the list. The benchmarking exercise is on-going but it will be useful to try and apply the NICE guidelines Dr Patel sent in his email which basically says "on going monitoring is unnecessary unless a lack of compliance with treatment is suspected, anaemia recurs, or neurological symptoms do not improve or progress".

The Pathology team will be working alongside LLR LMC to develop strategies to demand manage the pathology tests. I trust that you will find this satisfactory.

In the meantime, if you have any further concerns, please contact the LMC.

Original Email From Dr Patel