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Cancer patient Tony praises The Christie’s blood testing service in Altrincham

Press release published 4 July 2023

Cancer patients from the Altrincham area who are being treated at The Christie are being urged to use a local blood testing service in the town.

Altrincham Health and Wellbeing Centre in Market Street is one of a network of 10 centres set up by The Christie as part of its bloods closer to home local blood testing service. Since opening in June 2022, the Altrincham site has taken around 1,600 blood samples from patients.

Cancer patients on drug treatments often need a blood test before having treatment. This is to check how their organs are functioning and look at protein levels, which can act as markers to see how the patient is responding to treatment.

The local blood test clinic in Altrincham is run by Christie-trained healthcare support workers, which means patients do not have time-consuming journeys to the specialist cancer trust's Withington site.

Tony Collier, age 66, from Timperley, regularly uses the Altrincham service. The semi-retired accountant and father-of-two was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer in 2017 and told he had just 2 years to live, but six 6 on is still here.

Keen runner Tony discovered he had cancer after struggling with what he thought was a groin strain, having just completed 2 back-to-back marathons - a week apart in Paris and Manchester. Tony was told the cancer had spread to his bones and was terminal.

He was able to access a new treatment through his private medical insurance, which kept the cancer under control.

Tony needs a blood test once every 12 weeks and is a regular at The Christie’s local blood collection service in Altrincham. “Being able to come to Altrincham for my regular blood tests makes a big difference to me,” he said.

“From home to the centre and back again takes me less than 30 minutes. I can park underneath the building, go straight up to the second floor, and am usually in and out in less than 10 minutes. I cannot fault the service - the staff are friendly and professional."

The service in Altrincham operates from 9am to 12pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Jo Roberts, lead nurse for outpatient and phlebotomy services at The Christie, added: "We strive to put our patients at the heart of everything we do at The Christie, and since 2010 we have been delivering services closer to where patients live. When cancer patients are coping with the demands of treatment, simple changes can make all the difference to their lives, especially if they are feeling sick due to treatment.
“The local blood test clinics are more convenient for patients, saving them from long journeys and helping them juggle family or work commitments. The service removes some of the stress of arranging childcare, time off work, transport, navigating traffic jams or finding a place to park."

The local blood testing service operates from 10 convenient locations throughout Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Derbyshire, including Altrincham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, Bury, Cheadle, Little Hulton, Macclesfield, New Mills, Oldham and Winsford. New locations in Crewe (Leighton) and at Wigan and Leigh Hospice will be added shortly.

Between April 2022 and April 2023, the services collected a total of 19,266 blood samples from patients closer to their homes.

The bloods closer to home team can be contacted on 0161 918 7654 between 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday or visit our bloods closer to home webpage.

The bloods closer to home service is funded through donations made to The Christie Charity – see our bloods closer to home appeal page.

Last updated: July 2023