A focus on TDL Patient Reception at 76 Wimpole Street


Tara Sheik-Yousouf

We speak to Tara Sheik-Yousouf, who heads the phlebotomy team. She started working for TDL as a phlebotomist in 2005 after training in Mauritius, and now works at TDL Patient Reception, 76 Wimpole Street, London as both phlebotomy lead and trainer. With the company’s sponsorship, she completed a part-time distance-learning biomedical science degree through the University ofWestminster and the University of Ulster from 2016 to 2021.

A busy reception area

The phlebotomy and reception team is made up with 22 phlebotomists and 8 receptionists. Patients attend for samples to be taken, and are looked after paying attention to high levels of care and efficiency. The department operates a walk-in service from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays, with about 300 patients referred daily for their samples to be taken.

Patients come to Patient Reception at 76 Wimpole Street having been referred by doctors and clinics from a wide range of GP and speciality practices, such as fertility clinics, gynaecologists, rheumatologists and paediatricians. Patients of all ages are seen: for Tara, her oldest has been 103, and her youngest 3 days old. Perhaps this age range and specialism, more than anything, illustrates the high level of expertise that is so important in the service that is provided by this department.

Tara’s entry into phlebotomy was certainly not the ‘usual’ route, and perhaps there may be no such thing: the rest of the team at 76 Wimpole Street is made up of professionals from a range of backgrounds and many are at very different stages in their careers. Some, for instance, have been midwives, while others are looking towards a career in practice nursing.

“That variety of backgrounds makes the team a lot more complex and interesting,” says Tara. Her commitment to the training of the team upholds the standards and quality which lend so significantly to the reputation of this service.

Satisfied patients

The feedback from patients who have attended for samples to be taken, is usually excellent, often commenting on how considerate, organised and efficient their visit has been. This same standard is put to the test with Home Visits, offered in the London area. Off-site visits may have been arranged for samples to be taken for special travel, sports teams, corporate screening, film crews, special celebrities… so they are no strangers to a bit of glamour!

Inside Patient Reception

Patients attending throughout the Covid pandemic did not hamper the quality of the phlebotomy team’s work. They have, of course, had to adapt their usual practices to ensure the new safety standards are met. The introduction of two new recruits to help meet and greet patients when they arrive has developed into new dynamic roles as ‘runners’. They support the Reception and Phlebotomy teams, whilst maintaining effectiveness of social distancing.

Tara is keen to point out that the efficiency and growth of the department is down to great teamwork. “I’m keen that the focus of this article is on the team as a whole rather than me,” she says. We are only happy to oblige.