About: Gravesham Community Hospital

I have just waited an hour to have my blood taken which I had to fast for as well. I expected it to be busy and I wasn't wrong!

But I am extremely unhappy with the attitude of the three members of staff who were on duty. They took their time, had no respect that there was standing room only in the waiting room. Each one had more than two breaks out of the room They had lovely "chats" at each other's stations, got their phones out and compared them. Then another member of staff came in to borrow some steps and one of the staff in full view of the entire waiting room stood and had a good gossip having nothing to do with work before they finally decided to return to their station!

To top all that off this particular person came to the door gestured for a gentleman who had just arrived at the back of the room to come straight through. He proceeded to give them a "gift" and after the blood was taken they embraced, he thanked them and left. The staff member then went out of the room for a few minutes!

All this while they were constantly chewing gum. I didn't feel any of the staff respected the fact that the waiting room was full and they needed to work a little bit harder.

They carried on at their own pace regardless.

Due to their attitude I'm not surprised at patients getting upset and abusive.

Each department in the NHS should have "mystery shoppers" who can report on staff attitudes.

Being an ex nurse I am well aware of the problems involved that the public do not know or understand but these members of staffs' attitudes goes above and beyond that.

There is absolutely no excuse for their attitudes. No one goes into nursing for the money it's a vocation. Phlebotomist should have the same attitudes but unfortunately here it seems very sadly lacking.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Gravesham Community Hospital


Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your recent visit to Gravesham Community Hospital and please accept our apologies that you were not happy with the waiting time and the attitudes of the staff on duty that day.

Lynne Slough, Service Lead, Minor Injuries Unit/Phlebotomy has spoken to her senior phlebotomist and has provided the following information: 1. Unfortunately we have no control over the size of the waiting room that was constructed for Phlebotomy when the hospital was built. We are only able to place a certain number of chairs in the space provided. There are extra seats in the main waiting area but it is the responsibility of the members of the public to ensure that they do not miss their turn.


One of our phlebotomists is heavily pregnant and therefore needs to take a comfort break fairly frequently. Staff are permitted to take refreshment when required and this is not abused. Lynne feels her staff are highly professional individuals and the senior phlebotomist does not remember that their manner was anything other than friendly and welcoming.

3. The steps were borrowed by the cleaner who also took the opportunity to quickly discuss some issues, as she cleans the unit after closing which is acceptable.

4. The gentlemen who was brought through was an expected returning patient from the previous day. He was bringing in a personal sample, not a 'gift'. He expressed his gratitude by giving the staff member a peck on the cheek.

5. The staff members were chewing gum to keep her mouth fresh, however they have since been advised not to chew gum whilst on duty.

The staff work hard and 3 staff are currently bleeding over 180 patients a day. There has been a significant increase of attendances this week for blood tests as Oakfield surgery is closed. Announcements have been made in the waiting room, informing fasting patients to drink plenty of water, and to let the staff know if they are feeling unwell.

We hope all this information helps to provide an answer to some of the concerns you have highlighted and hope that you will have a more favourable experience in the future.

Best wishes

Customer Care Team

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

Tel: 0300 123 1807

Email: kcht.cct@nhs.net

Website: www.kentcht.nhs.uk

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful