"Blood test waiting time"

About: Lister Hospital

I went to have a blood test 2 weeks ago and was told at reception that the waiting time was over 2 hours!!! I was unable to stay as I had already attended an appointment which was already costing me a small fortune in the car park. Plus I care for my Mum and had to get back home to her. I suspected that the hospital would not offer me money towards my car parking fee due to the fact that they were the problem that people were being kept waiting! Hospital car parks should have one set realistic fee. That way people pay to park there but do not pay extra because the hospital can't get its act together! They could have their car parking ticket stamped at the department/ward they are visiting. Why is it allowed that sick people and visitors of the sick and dying are charged in this way. I will say though that the hospital cleanliness has improved and the food on the wards has improved dramatically.

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Response from Lister Hospital

Thanks for your feedback, which is very helpful. We thought it might be helpful for you - and other readers of these comments - to address each issue in turn. Our blood testing clinics are, in the main, drop-in services, with the majority of those attending asked to do so by their GPs. That makes predicting attendance very difficult to gauge, although historical patterns are useful. It only needs an unexpected spike in people arriving to coincide with staff absences caused by illness for example, and sometimes the waiting times in our busiest clinics (usually those at the Lister, QEII and Hertford County hospitals) can get very busy indeed. But there are alternative places where people can have their blood tested, including at community hospitals and health clinics - some of which can be booked in advance. Details of all of these clinics for future reference can be found on our website - http://www.enherts-tr.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/our-services/blood-tests/ With regard to parking charges, what most people do not know is that the Trust does not get any separate funding to provide car parking facilities - which costs the Trust at least £0.75 million annually. The charges are set to make sure that these costs are covered, so that funding intended for patients is not affected. Where a surplus is made - and it is usually small - then this is ploughed back in to patient services. Finally many thanks for your positive comments on both the level of hygiene and cleanliness at the Lister, as well as the quality of the food. When it comes to infection prevention, our rates of hospital-acquired infections are now at their lowest ever and are falling year-on-year to their current exceptionally low level. For example with just 14 infections caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile - often called C Diff - that makes us the best performing hospital group of our size in the whole of England and the fifth best of all NHS organisations. Good cleanliness has been part of the effort to reduce and eliminate hospital-acquired infections, so it's good to see that recognised.

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