"Change in blood testing service"

About: Horsham Hospital / Phlebotomy

(as the patient),

The recently advised reasons for Sussex Community Trust changing Horsham's Phlebotomy service to a 'walk-in service' (or waiting service is a better name) do seem to amount to a lot of 'Flannel': -

If the 'number of patients is increasing' surely that means the opening times need to be lengthened and really has nothing to do with transferring reception staff and changing to a walk-in system!

Yes: Maybe the walk-in services has been successfully at East Surrey Hospital and Crawley Hospital for over 20 years - but they both stay open until 4: 45 (not 11: 45! ! )

Regarding the assertion that the new service is popular - seems to contradict what I've heard in the waiting area - and contradicts the other point of the Trusts notion that increased attendance and long waits, are agreed as being unacceptable.

The reply that Horsham Hospital Management use the rooms for other services in the afternoon, which is why the Phlebotomy currently closes at 12pm - seems to be an admission of lack of - or under-provision of service in Horsham. (but that's hardly a new story)

As an INR patient, making an appointment for your regular blood test was very convenient and the loss of this facility and the volume of patients now attending has made your experience very unsatisfactory.......Hooray....So why can't all us INR patients have access to a self test facility and probably help relieve a bit of the pressure on the department?

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Responses

Response from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear James1234

I am sorry you didn’t feel my response was helpful. To explain a little further the phlebotomy service is provided by Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) who rent the Rainbow Unit rooms from Sussex Community Trust (SCT)who run Horsham Hospital and also employ the receptionists who ran the appointment desk and phone line.

I could do nothing about SCT wanting to withdraw the receptionists and therefore had to make a decision about how best to keep the phlebotomy service operating. A walk-in service seemed the best option given the success of the other 2 sites.

The reason I have to stop the phlebotomy service at 12pm is because SCT run Outpatient clinics in those rooms from 1pm. I have asked the site manager at Horsham to see if they are still used in the afternoon and I am waiting for his reply. If the rooms are free I will make a case to extend opening times to 4pm which should help the situation but it will take time to recruit additional phlebotomists for the afternoon session.

Regarding your suggestion of a self-testing facility for INR patients, Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust can only provide services that we are commissioned to provide. In this case the commissioner would be Horsham & mid-Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). You can find their contact details on their website at www.horshamandmidsussexccg.nhs.uk.

I will do my utmost to reduce the waiting times for all patients that attend Horsham Hospital for phlebotomy and I hope your experience improves once the changes are made.

Regards

Mike Rayment

Pathology Services & Quality Manager

Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

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Update posted by James1234 (the patient)

Yes - helpful, and thank you for taking the time to answer all points. I am very sorry that you all have to work within what appears to me to be barkingly mad - overcomplicated organisational and management structures!