"It appeared the sample was left around for a while"

About: Community Health Services / District nursing Ormskirk & District General Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

I phoned my doctor’s surgery in Melling when I was feeling unwell. I was then visited by a district nurse, who took my bloods.

Two days later, I received a phone call telling me an ambulance was ordered and would be picking me up and taking me to hospital. I was told the potassium levels in my blood were “through the roof”, and I needed to be rushed to hospital. I was shaking and very worried as this could have resulted in a heart attack.

When I arrived at Ormskirk, I had more blood tests. To my surprise, the results came back as normal. The Doctor told me that my previous results were incorrect. He informed me that it appeared the sample was left around for a while, which resulted in the raised potassium levels.

This isn't the first time I’ve been told incorrect results. On another occasion, I was told I could potentially have bowel cancer, but again it turned out the sample had been left standing and this affected the results.

I was put through 7 or 8 hours of hell, which isn’t what I need at my age. I called my surgery and they said that they had faxed the results through and that the sample hadn’t been left. However the doctor at the hospital said this was unacceptable.

I would like to know what had happened to my blood sample after the district nurse had visited, and why it was left hanging around for so long.

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Response from Tony Ellis, Marketing and communications manager, Marketing and Communications, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Thank you for telling us about your experience of care. Please contact me directly on 01704 704494 between 9am and 5pm weekdays so we can properly investigate your concerns.

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Response from Jacqui Sellek, PALS Coordinator, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust

Dear Ash335

Thank you for your comments which appear to relate to two separate NHS Trusts. We would appreciate being given the opportunity to fully investigate the issues you have raised in relation to district nursing and/or our phlebotomy service which may fall within the 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. However, we would need some additional information from you in order to progress the matter. Please telephone our PALS service on 01925 664014.

With kind regards

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Response from Ormskirk & District General Hospital

Thank you for letting us know about your experience. In order to investigate further, we need to know your personal circumstances. Please contact our customer service team on 01704 704958 or email soh-tr.complaints@nhs.net.

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