"phlebotomy dept Horsham Hospital"

About: Horsham Hospital / Phlebotomy

(as the patient),

No appointment system ticket machine which you take your number. The machine jammed there was standing room only in the waiting room and ovet 50 people waiting for tests and 4 staff who were worling flat out. There was also poor signage to indicate you need to take a ticket so some people had not taken one. There was no ambience in the room not even a radio or magazines. It was hot yet the air con was not on. It was chaos and I waited an hour to be seen

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Response from Garry East, Assistant Director for Clinical Support Services, Clinical Support Services, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We have made a change

Dear no one,

Thank you for posting your comments regarding the Phlebotomy service provided at Horsham Hospital. I believe that you have since spoken with the Phlebotomy Manager to discuss the issues that you have raised.

The ticket machine is a temporary measure and I agree that it isn’t very robust, although reports of it breaking down have been very few. We are currently investigating the option of installing an electronic queue management system which will also provide message displays. In the meantime, the phlebotomy staff have been asked to keep a closer eye on the ticket machine in order to avoid any further occurrences.

We appreciate your comments regarding the ambience of the waiting area and have since installed a radio. The supplying of magazines however, has always been a controversial matter as they cannot be wiped clean. We have reviewed this with the Infection Control Team and their view is that this is a low risk area and that the provision of reading material would be acceptable.

Air Conditioning is a topic that is often raised by both patients and staff. Unfortunately the Rainbow Unit does not have Air Conditioning. We will monitor the temperature in that area and attempt to improve on the current situation and how it is managed; bearing in mind that it can be difficult to meet the correct temperature requirements for every patient.

The phlebotomy department was extremely busy on the day that you visited. I can only apologise for the length of time that you had to wait. As with any walk-in service, waiting times can vary from 15 minutes during quiet periods up to at least 1 hour during peak times.

We do have plans in place to expand on the current service by extending the opening hours and recruiting additional staff.

We have used appointment systems in the past but haven’t found them to be very successful as patients have had to wait days and in some cases, weeks for an appointment, whereas a walk-in service allows patients to attend the Phlebotomy department for a blood test immediately after seeing their GP or Consultant.

Your observations and comments have led the team to think about how we communicate to patients regarding what to expect when attending walk-in services. We will also be discussing this matter with the local GPs.

Once again, thank you for your comments and suggestions as I do believe that they are all valid and have given us some ideas on how we improve the patient experience.

If you would like to discuss these issues in any further detail then please feel free to contact me directly.

Kind regards,

Garry East

Associate Director - Clinical Support Services

Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

E-mail: Garry.East@sash.nhs.uk

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