Joanne Marchant – Phlebotomy

Joanne Marchant works in the community as well as in hospital, managing a team of nearly 50 phlebotomists right across GP practices in mid and East Cheshire as well as services for wards and outpatients in Macclesfield and Leighton Hospital. But she also continues to take blood herself and very much values the contact she has with her patients.

The basic principles of venepuncture are the same as those in hospitals but whereas hospital phlebotomists are often dealing with very sick patients that they may only see once, community phlebotomists get to know their patients and become part of their lives. They deal with an enormous range of people, from teenagers to the elderly. “You have to be able to approach  people in the right way. We only have a five minute appointment slot but we can’t appear hurried and we still need to give as professional service as possible”. In both GP and outpatient clinics, phlebotomists are taking a sample every 3 minutes. To be able to work at such speed, safely and effectively, requires a great deal of skill and experience. “It takes a minimum of 6 months to become really proficient at venepuncture”.

Joanne came to phlebotomy via social care and then as a healthcare assistant in the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. Taking blood was part of her daily duties and she found that it was something that she was really good at, managing to get blood even when others found it difficult. She became a full-time phlebotomist and is now managing a large team in the community. Managing the people and the rotas, particularly at holiday times is a major challenge.

Providing a quality service for patients requires skill and Joanne is proud to have developed a venepuncture learning package alongside the clinical skills lead for her trust and the learning development officer for her primary care trust which enables the professional skills required to be rolled out in a systematic and effective way, to the benefit of patients.


Profile courtesy of Chief Scientific Officer, Department of Health – Professor Sue Hill