"Blood appointments"

About: Horsham Hospital

(as the patient),

This morning I walked into the "drop in " service for bloods to be taken in Horsham hospital and was faced with a department packed full of clients waiting to be seen. Clearly this situation is absolutely unacceptable. Many of these people were elderly. why was this department "bursting at the seams" trying to deal with clients? Are there not sufficient staff on duty to cover the requirements of those wanting to access this service and if not, why not because it was clearly too busy today. If this is an 'ongoing' situation, then something needs to be done to improve this service for the people of Horsham

Many of the GPs in Horsham use the hospital 'phlebotomy department ' for their patients to have their bloods taken, perhaps this is a 'cost' issue or perhaps as a group of doctors, they just don't want the problem of an 'inhouse' phlebotomy department. What ever the reason, the service is appearing to be failing for us, the patient.

I took myself to Crawley hospital and waited approx. 15 mins. for my bloods to be taken. At least 4 phlebotomists were on duty and for a large OPD. there were few patients waiting. Not ALL Horsham clients can get to Crawley, so this whole imbalance of service needs to be reviewed. It is without doubt that Horsham is developing at a rapid rate..so..are we going to be 'dropping in' every day to see when we can get some attention? Perhaps there needs to be some review by Horsham GPs to either have their patients bloods taken at the surgery or there must be an increase in funding & staffing levels for Horsham phlebotomy service, especially since [ in my opinion ] much emphasis in diagnosing an illness comes from blood.

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Response from Michael Rayment, Pathology Services & Quality Manager, Pathology, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear carmary,

Thank you for posting your concerns about Horsham Phlebotomy. Other patients have been posting their conerns too over the last few months. I completley agree that the service and wait times are not at all acceptable and I do apologise.

The service is only commissioned from 8am till 12noon at the moment and used to be an appointment system but the receptionists were re-deployed by their employers (Sussex Community Trust) some months ago to other duties and so I was forced to implement a walk-in service at short notice.

Horsham hospital is owned by NHS Property Services and I am in negotiation with them to make the rooms we use available till 4pm each day, which will help provide more time for patients to attend at their conveneince. Part of this plan is also to recruit more Phlebotomists to take blood in the afternoon which is nearly complete.

I hope to have these changes agreed by Hospital Directors in the next couple of months and then implement them as soon as I can.

I am sorry about your experiences and the time it is taking to put it right but matters should improve very soon.

I will post an update message back to you here as soon as I have more definite news.

Best wishes

Mike Rayment

Pathology Services & Quality Manager

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Update posted by carmary (the patient)

Thankyou for your response. As I expected it's the usual problem with NHS services these days...a cut back in staffing levels and poor funding. I have no idea when you had to implement the " short notice" arrangements BUT if as you say, 'clients have been posting their concerns over the last few months".. that to me says this disruption is already far too long.

We ,the patients, the public , have very little control over these changes. Infact, as I noted in your reply, you are employed by Surrey & Sussex Healthcare Trust ,Horsham Hospital is run by NHS property services and the re-deployed staff, by Sussex Community Trust. No wonder there is such a complete muddle in the NHS. All these 'new' structures,supposedly to improve patient experience and care ,have a pyramid of staff to "manage" these new departments at , I'm sure, a very high cost to the taxpayer BUT it doesn't improve the service does it? ,Situations get worse and the patient....on the end of the line of this bureaucracy...end up with a shoddy service.

Bring back the simple but very effective "hospital board" ..a simple group of people which included those who were medically trained and KNEW about patient needs. They ran their own hospital ,not like today, when everything functions from an accountants department....starting with the Department of Health.

I'm sure these problems with the phlebotomy service in Horsham is very frustrating for you and I hope you are able to 'extend' the hours at the hospital BUT that will be in vain IF you then try and run it on inadequate staffing levels,which will ineviablably be the problem...it always is!

Response from Michael Rayment, Pathology Services & Quality Manager, Pathology, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We have made a change

Dear carmary,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Just to inform you that Horsham hospital Phlebotomy is now open on a Monday and Tuesday until 4pm with extra staff in place to work in the afternoon. The service still closes at 12noon for the rest of the week but hopefully I will be able to open all week untill 4pm soon.

Kind Regards

Mike Rayment

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