Some people are prescribed medicine that stops their blood from clotting quickly. These drugs are called warfarin, nicoumalone or acenocoumarol (Sinthrome) or phenindione.
The medicine is important because blood clots can cause damage in the lungs and can block the flow of blood to the brain, causing a stroke.
Services currently available for patients taking Warfarin
At the moment, more than 2,000 people across North Kirklees are taking warfarin. Each patient has their blood clotting monitored by an anticoagulation service (warfarin clinic). Some will go to the hospital and have a finger prick blood test and are given a result straightaway; others attend phlebotomy clinics where a blood sample is taken from their arm. The sample is sent to a testing laboratory and patients are given the results by letter or telephone.
Reviewing anticoagulation services and our vision for the future
NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group is reviewing how anticoagulation (warfarin) services are provided for patients. We want to improve access to these services by providing them closer to home; making sure every patient can have a finger prick blood test with immediate results so that any changes to their treatment can be made there and then. The process will normally take less than five minutes.
We are considering setting up a community-based service in clinics across North Kirklees, so that everybody will have a clinic near to where they live. Patients would be able to choose which of the clinics to use. There will be no immediate changes to how patients’ warfarin is managed and we will let patients know of any changes to their current anticoagulation service.
As part of this review we sought the views of individuals, families and carers, clinicians, other health providers and voluntary groups to help inform our decisions about future provision. The engagement took place during June – July 2014. The report can be found here.