Call for a review of town’s blood-test service

Health news. Photo: Shutterstock
Health news. Photo: Shutterstock

A call for a review of ‘poor’ phlebotomy services at Horsham Hospital has gone out from a leading health watchdog.

Long queues of patients awaiting blood tests developed at the hospital after phlebotomy services previously carried out at Park Surgery were transferred to Horsham Hospital earlier this year.

The hospital extended its phlebotomy opening hours on June 1 following reports of people feeling ill and fainting while waiting in the lengthy queues.

Now Lilian Bold, Sussex Coummunity Foundation Trust public governor for Horsham, is calling on the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust - which runs the phlebotomy service - to outline what improvements have been made.

She said that up until June 1, the service was “very poor with patients having to stand and queue for a long time waiting for their number to be called out.

“The queues were long, stretching out of the department at busy times, also the service having to close early and patients being turned away.

“We have had people feeling ill and fainting while standing and waiting.”

She said that originally, the hospital did not have enough seating and patients were unable to sit in other parts of the hospital without losing their place in the queue. In addition, a water dispenser had been out of order, meaning no water was available for waiting patients.

There was also, she said, poor access for wheelchair users, people with sight and hearing problems, and those with low immunity problems. There was no evening or weekend service for working age people and no children’s service.

In a letter to Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Lilian asked for an update on how the service was performing since opening hours were extended by an hour on June 1.

“Has the service improved with the need for queuing decreased and what improvement measures to the provision and to patient experience have been done or are being planned, and what are the time scales,” she asked.