"I came (with an appointment) to ..."

About: King George Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I came (with an appointment) to have a Glucose Tolerance Test done. I was impressed with the polite and friendly phlebotomists and the efficient timekeeping. Staff actually call patients in by name and were very good about doing people who had arrived early when they had a gap rather than making them wait (a GTT takes a long while and you get to watch what's going on a lot!)

Although I knew what to expect, the phlebotomists were careful to explain each stage of the process to me.

What could be improved

There are two waiting periods for this test - the first one is not a problem - after the first blood sample is taken you have an hour to kill and can go and get a newspaper, have a walk, do anything except smoke, eat or drink.

After the hour is up you get to drink a (vile tasting - but that isn't their fault) glucose drink, then you have to wait for two hours before the next blood is taken. This two hours has to be a period of inactivity; you can't go shopping or home or for a walk, the only place to be is in the waiting area sitting on the plastic seats - if you're lucky (I was) there might be someone to chat with, and you can read or do puzzles etc, but it really is the most uninspiring place to hang out in and I think something must be done to make it (a) more comfortable (those chairs are actually designed to make people want to get up and move about) and (b) more interesting for a captive population - don't some hospitals and surgeries have a TV in their waiting rooms?

Couldn't there be a 'lounge' for people who are having procedures which require such hanging about? (Or is the GTT the only one like this?)

Story from NHS Choices

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