Southend Hospital to review blood test system

SOUTHEND Hospital is reviewing its blood-taking service following complaints about lengthy waits after an elderly man was escorted from a clinic by security staff.

Under the automated system, outpatients have to book in and get a number from a touch screen before waiting for their number to come up on another screen.

They must then proceed to the hospital’s phlebotomy department on the mezzanine floor, where they face another wait for the number to come up again.

But last week a woman watched as security staff removed an elderly man from the department because he had gone straight upstairs to wait for a test.

Rosemary Debenham was waiting with her daughter and grandson, who needed a blood test, when the drama unfolded.

Mrs Debenham said: “An elderly gentleman with two walking sticks came into the upstairs department. He said as he was not very mobile and he was frightened of missing his slot, he would wait upstairs until his number was called.

“He was told it could be a two-hour wait, but he was quite happy with this saying he had a newspaper and was content to wait.

“A member of staff then told him he had to wait downstairs and if he didn’t go he would call security. The elderly gentleman was then forcibly removed by security from the upstairs department.”

Mrs Debenham added: “I find it disgusting that an elderly, infirm gentleman could be treated this way. What harm could it have done to let him wait upstairs?”

The hospital has apologised and admits it is looking to change its procedures. Rupert Wainwright, interim director of operations at the hospital, said: “We are sorry to hear of this patient’s experience and would apologise for the difficulties he encountered in the department.

“We have recently been experiencing a greater volume of patients at our walk-in clinic which has unfortunately coincided with a number of staff absences. To try to ease the situation, we are looking into increasing capacity at our community clinics where blood tests are on an appointment-only basis.”

Mr Wainwright added: “The management of phlebotomy services has been changed in the last fortnight to help improve the service.

“We are also currently reviewing all our phlebotomy services to try to ease the pressure at peak times. Demand is heavy when the walk-in service first opens at 8am and we urge patients to come later.”

Comments (14)

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11:16am Sun 22 Apr 12

belfairs says...

you don't need to go to the hospital for a blood test, you can get it done at your local surgery with no waiting time
you don't need to go to the hospital for a blood test, you can get it done at your local surgery with no waiting time belfairs
  • Score: 0

11:46am Sun 22 Apr 12

redcabbage says...

I only wish a blood test was possible at my doctors. One can spend all day trying to get through to book a blood test, an even longer wait usually if you need a fasting test. If anything reqsuires revising it is the blood testing centres hours, especially at Thorpedene Clinic. A few less chiefs and a few more indians would help solve the problem but that would be too much to ask!
I only wish a blood test was possible at my doctors. One can spend all day trying to get through to book a blood test, an even longer wait usually if you need a fasting test. If anything reqsuires revising it is the blood testing centres hours, especially at Thorpedene Clinic. A few less chiefs and a few more indians would help solve the problem but that would be too much to ask! redcabbage
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Sun 22 Apr 12

LordSpiffSpaffington says...

I too had to stand for over an hour in that place for a blood test while waiting for an operation
I too had to stand for over an hour in that place for a blood test while waiting for an operation LordSpiffSpaffington
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Sun 22 Apr 12

siddymint says...

I have a blood test centre yards from my house in Belfairs but could not get an appointment for 16 days had to go to a centre in central southend.
Tried the hospital you have to wait in a coffee shop watching a screen all the time who ever came up with the system should be made to try it.
Especailly if they are not allowed to drink coffee
I have a blood test centre yards from my house in Belfairs but could not get an appointment for 16 days had to go to a centre in central southend. Tried the hospital you have to wait in a coffee shop watching a screen all the time who ever came up with the system should be made to try it. Especailly if they are not allowed to drink coffee siddymint
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Sun 22 Apr 12

bob7 says...

belfairs wrote:
you don't need to go to the hospital for a blood test, you can get it done at your local surgery with no waiting time
If you are at the hospital for a pre op assessment they send you for a blood test there and then, so you have to wait. Our GP in Castle Point doesn't do blood tests, you have to phone and book at one of the many clinics. If it is a routine test there is usually a few days wait for the appointment but once there you can be in and out in 10 minutes.
[quote][p][bold]belfairs[/bold] wrote: you don't need to go to the hospital for a blood test, you can get it done at your local surgery with no waiting time[/p][/quote]If you are at the hospital for a pre op assessment they send you for a blood test there and then, so you have to wait. Our GP in Castle Point doesn't do blood tests, you have to phone and book at one of the many clinics. If it is a routine test there is usually a few days wait for the appointment but once there you can be in and out in 10 minutes. bob7
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Sun 22 Apr 12

westborograss says...

Phone for an appointment

Better still get Tony to talk to Bob about the system, the problem seems to be the suits don't talk to the workers, when the workers in this case bob emailed Tony with suggestions he got ignored, I was a patient on a panel looking into sorting the problem criticised Tony for not replying , got dumped from the panel
Same mob who planned the parking
Phone for an appointment Better still get Tony to talk to Bob about the system, the problem seems to be the suits don't talk to the workers, when the workers in this case bob emailed Tony with suggestions he got ignored, I was a patient on a panel looking into sorting the problem criticised Tony for not replying , got dumped from the panel Same mob who planned the parking westborograss
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Sun 22 Apr 12

Nebs says...

Why don't they do blood tests 24/7, it would ease the load at peak times.
Why don't they do blood tests 24/7, it would ease the load at peak times. Nebs
  • Score: 0

6:06pm Sun 22 Apr 12

AnotherSister says...

Whenever I go for blood tests, I'm always sorted much quicker at the hospital than at blood test centres, even with an appointment.

As for the waiting area at the hospital, I always go straight upstairs and have never been asked to go back down to the ground floor, and have never been 'removed'.

However, I do prefer it as it was, before the Costa Coffee distaster was opened. It's a shambles down there as many people with mobility problems can't negotiate their way around the seating.

I'd haev thought it sensible to have kept the blood testing area on the ground floor close to the main door, but the planners obviously had other ideas.

As for long waiting times (I've never had to wait more than 45 minutes), obviously more blood testing staff would solve the problem. Sometimes there have only been two people on duty taking the blood.
Whenever I go for blood tests, I'm always sorted much quicker at the hospital than at blood test centres, even with an appointment. As for the waiting area at the hospital, I always go straight upstairs and have never been asked to go back down to the ground floor, and have never been 'removed'. However, I do prefer it as it was, before the Costa Coffee distaster was opened. It's a shambles down there as many people with mobility problems can't negotiate their way around the seating. I'd haev thought it sensible to have kept the blood testing area on the ground floor close to the main door, but the planners obviously had other ideas. As for long waiting times (I've never had to wait more than 45 minutes), obviously more blood testing staff would solve the problem. Sometimes there have only been two people on duty taking the blood. AnotherSister
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Sun 22 Apr 12

jolllyboy says...

This is the most disgraceful thing I have heard in a long time. Shame on them. This is the sort of treatment the old are getting used to.They do not always understand the continuous changes. How can you expect the elderly who have never used any form of computer to understand. There are not enough notices either and noone tells them the system when they get there.The blood tests at the hospital close Bank holidays too. There is not enough room upstairs for even those near to their number. The screen downstairs is full of apologies because it is not always working.there is not enough room in the 'coffee shop' area either. It is a total mess.I refuse to pay the Costa prices too. i will take a flask next time.
This is the most disgraceful thing I have heard in a long time. Shame on them. This is the sort of treatment the old are getting used to.They do not always understand the continuous changes. How can you expect the elderly who have never used any form of computer to understand. There are not enough notices either and noone tells them the system when they get there.The blood tests at the hospital close Bank holidays too. There is not enough room upstairs for even those near to their number. The screen downstairs is full of apologies because it is not always working.there is not enough room in the 'coffee shop' area either. It is a total mess.I refuse to pay the Costa prices too. i will take a flask next time. jolllyboy
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Sun 22 Apr 12

news4us says...

You aint seen nothing yet - this is Dave's private health service - over priced coffee, bouncers rather than nurses and forget the myth about local blood testing as someone says the wait for local appointments is legendary - yes Mr. Director try to book an appointment and then you will see.
You aint seen nothing yet - this is Dave's private health service - over priced coffee, bouncers rather than nurses and forget the myth about local blood testing as someone says the wait for local appointments is legendary - yes Mr. Director try to book an appointment and then you will see. news4us
  • Score: 0

12:06am Mon 23 Apr 12

Sign of the times says...

I remember going there. One of those 'don't eat for 24 hrs jobbies' .
Then hang around for two hours and we take another blood sample.

I asked where to wait and they said 'coffee shop'.

Just where you don't want to be when you are hungry and cannot eat.

As it happens it was a nice day and I went off site , (wasn't supposed to) and sat on a bench reading a paper. I thought that was cruel to make me stay so near to the food. I'd of ended up passing out and been sent to A&E!

I agree with person who said nearer the doors, ground floor, would have been a better place to situate the clinic.
Still I'll make sure I go local if ever the situ arises.

I have a theory that the coffee shop was put there to stop lonely people who just spent their days hanging around at the seated waiting areas, especially if it was cold, who watched the world go by.

I'm right arn't I? Bet not everyone there was waiting to see a doctor!
I remember going there. One of those 'don't eat for 24 hrs jobbies' . Then hang around for two hours and we take another blood sample. I asked where to wait and they said 'coffee shop'. Just where you don't want to be when you are hungry and cannot eat. As it happens it was a nice day and I went off site , (wasn't supposed to) and sat on a bench reading a paper. I thought that was cruel to make me stay so near to the food. I'd of ended up passing out and been sent to A&E! I agree with person who said nearer the doors, ground floor, would have been a better place to situate the clinic. Still I'll make sure I go local if ever the situ arises. I have a theory that the coffee shop was put there to stop lonely people who just spent their days hanging around at the seated waiting areas, especially if it was cold, who watched the world go by. I'm right arn't I? Bet not everyone there was waiting to see a doctor! Sign of the times
  • Score: 0

12:25am Mon 23 Apr 12

Andycal 172D says...

The real problem is the daft idea that the best place to have to wait for a fasting blood test is a coffee shop! Southend Hospital sold its soul and the convenience of its patients just to get the money on the coffee shop deal.
The real problem is the daft idea that the best place to have to wait for a fasting blood test is a coffee shop! Southend Hospital sold its soul and the convenience of its patients just to get the money on the coffee shop deal. Andycal 172D
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Mon 23 Apr 12

The Cater Wood Creeper says...

The real problem is the daft idea that the best place to have to wait for a fasting blood test is a coffee shop!


is that an Amsterdam style coffee house?
[quote]The real problem is the daft idea that the best place to have to wait for a fasting blood test is a coffee shop![/quote] is that an Amsterdam style coffee house? The Cater Wood Creeper
  • Score: 0

9:22am Tue 24 Apr 12

Heavenwilkins says...

Another example of desk-bound "experts" divorced from the reality of how people actually behave and the silly idea that "one size fits all". Didn't anyone anticipate that some elderly and less mobile might be concerned they would not be able to mount the stairs (or lift) to the phlebotomy clinic in time once their number had been called and they would thus miss their turn after waiting for over an hour in the (unwanted, unwelcome and expensive) coffee shop on the ground floor? The phrase "had to be removed by security" almost strikes a chill when related to an old man - what has happened to sense of proportion - compassion -common sense. "Oh England, My Fair England" what have the politicians and buraucrats done to us?
Another example of desk-bound "experts" divorced from the reality of how people actually behave and the silly idea that "one size fits all". Didn't anyone anticipate that some elderly and less mobile might be concerned they would not be able to mount the stairs (or lift) to the phlebotomy clinic in time once their number had been called and they would thus miss their turn after waiting for over an hour in the (unwanted, unwelcome and expensive) coffee shop on the ground floor? The phrase "had to be removed by security" almost strikes a chill when related to an old man - what has happened to sense of proportion - compassion -common sense. "Oh England, My Fair England" what have the politicians and buraucrats done to us? Heavenwilkins
  • Score: 0

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