"Bad customer service and confidentiality issues"

About: Hammersmith Hospital

I had a gastro appointment and was told to do a blood and stool test. I was told I simply need to got to the phlebotomy department and that they will have all the necessary info there, including labels to put on the stool sample container. I waited for around 90 minutes for my turn for the blood test (fair enough, it was busy and only 2 people working, I understand that there is only so much they can do). I did encounter 2 other problems, however. When my number was up I went to the testing room and found 3 other patients that I had just seen leave the waiting room queuing outside. After a couple of minutes a man with a higher number than any of us came and cut in. When one of the other patients pointed this out to the nurse he was told to wait his turn (which is what he was doing, it was the other man that was cutting in!). I also mentioned this to her when it was my turn and she actually said that I was lucky to be seen, that normally this would mean that I lost my turn and have to start queuing all over again - let me clarify, she said I should have lost my spot because another patient was rude enough to cut in! It was somehow my fault! I also asked her to print out my stool sample label as I was told will happen during my appointment but she said there was nothing on the system to print out and sent me back to gastro to sort it out there. There I had to queue to speak to the gastro receptionist about it. The receptionist then printed out a label that the lab later told me wasn't the right thing. This meant I had to go back to gastro and queue yet again. I was finally taken by someone from gastro back to phlebotomy where they suddenly realised they actually had the info they needed and gave me the label they should have straight from the beginning. Through the whole process everyone was very disinterested in my issue and borderline rude. I also got the impression some of the problem stemmed from the fact that the staff didn't really listen to what I was saying. I realise it was a busy day and how that gets to everybody but I really shouldn't have been forced to do a triple run around for something as simple as a stool test. I complained through their customer service team and while they were being very polite in their response they basically denied any responsibility. Also, on another occasion, I received a letter from the hospital in an unsealed envelope, available for anyone to take out an read.

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Response from Hammersmith Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is concerned to read of your experience and we apologise for the distress you were caused. Your comments have been passed to the service managers and will be addressed with Phlebotomy staff. If you would to provide more details so we can investigate and respond to your concerns please contact our PALS Team pals@imperial.nhs.uk

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