About: Solihull Hospital Solihull Hospital Solihull B91 2JL
I took my 91year old father who suffers from both Parkinson's disease & heart failure for a blood test. There were 30 people ahead of us with only two phlebotomists taking blood whilst one 'floated around' directing people to a seat. My father & I were placed by a curtain where I could clearly hear the phlebotomist talking on the other side. Almost immediately after we arrived a young man came in and was taken straight into the phlebotomist ahead of everyone else and she then spent 20mins trying to coax this young man into letting her take blood. He was clearly very nervous and I do sympathise with him but during this time only one person was actually taking any blood and the queue was moving very slowly. As my father was getting distressed, and in light of the fact we still had to go for a chest x ray, I asked the 'floating phlebotomist' if it would be possible to see my father a bit sooner. She asked the person behind the curtain and I heard her say no immediately. She didn't ask why or take a second to look round the curtain to assess the situation, it was just a straight no. I then heard her tell the young man to come back the next day, not to wait but to go straight in! I am well aware what a difficult job it must be working in a situation where they are clearly understaffed but surely having a trained phlebotomist hovering around doing nothing useful is false economy and what is the criteria for walking straight in ahead of everyone else? If it had been a child or an elderly person like my father I would have no objection at all but to sit for 20 minutes listening to this was unacceptable and to have three phlebotomists available and only two working is totally unacceptable.