Publish date: 26 August 2021

A further update has been provided on the global supply disruption. Liverpool Clinical Laboratories (LCL), have confirmed that they still have concerns about the availability of serum tubes (purple and gold top) and are closely monitoring the situation.


In light of this, please:

  • Do not over order or stock pile bottles
  • Use grey topped bottles for HbA1C tests


Details of the products impacted and the demand management measures in place are included in the Important Customer Notice, issued by NHS Supply Chain. NHS England and NHS Improvement shared background information on this issue


LCL have issued detailed guidance to ensure optimisation of our current stockholding. The main points are outlined below:  

  • Clinical leaders should ensure all staff ordering or taking bloods are informed of the following recommendations, and that these are actioned urgently to protect existing supply levels 
  • Please reduce non-essential (non-clinically urgent) blood testing 
  • Encourage add-on testing to reduce the need for blood tube usage 
  • HbA1C tests, please take a Grey top tube (Sodium Fluoride) rather than an EDTA sample. Changes will be made in ICE requesting to reflect this alteration in blood tube requirements 


If you require any further information, please contact our Clinical Service Manager Community Division