"Unnecessary stress for elderly lady to get blood tests"

About: Arriva Transport Solutions Limited Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

(as a staff member posting for a carer/relative),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public. We have their details and will forward any comments to them. They said…

This lady’s relative died last March aged over 90. For over 5 years until a hospital admission in August 2013, she was required to go to hospital for INR testing, as she was on Warfarin. These tests were ordered every 6 weeks and the lady needed a wheelchair to get to the haematology department, as she had very reduced mobility. The ambulances which came for her often did not have a wheelchair on board. Sometimes no ambulance came at all. Eventually the family had to pay for taxis back home, as the wait for an ambulance at the hospital was too long. As the lady’s dementia became worse she became increasingly distressed by getting to appointments, and transferring to the ambulance then to hospital and back home all upset her.

This lady’s questions are:

As she herself is on Warfarin and has her blood tests at her GP’s surgery, why did her relative have to undergo all this stress, when she was living in a residential care home which was regularly visited by District Nurses? Surely these nurses could have taken blood?

And while she realises the ambulance driver was not at fault, why couldn’t a wheelchair have been provided every time? And who is responsible for ambulances not turning up?

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Response from Communications Officer, Arriva Transport Solutions Limited

Thank you for taking the time provide post this feedback.

Arriva Transport Solutions became responsible for providing the patient transport in Greater Manchester in April 2013, previously this was provided by North West Ambulance Service. In Greater Manchester the bookings for the patient transport service are either made by the hospital or by the local NHS booking centre.

To give a full response we would need to look into the specific patient’s journey record and speak with the booking centre and the hospital staff. Please could you ask the lady to contact our patient experience team by emailing patientexperience@arriva.co.uk or through our control by calling 0800 023 2292.

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Response from Lindsay Stewart, Deputy Director of Nursing, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. It is usual for blood tests such as INR to be managed by the GP and I understand it must have been difficult for the lady to attend the hospital particularly as her medical condition changed. However without specific details it is really difficult to comment on this particular situation.

If you would like your concerns looked into in more detail please can I ask you contact the Pals & Complaints Department on 0161 922 4466

John Goodenough

Director of Nursing

’Would you like to help the hospital to improve its services further? We are currently looking for patients and carers to become involved in a development called “Patient Stories”. We want to know more about our services from the point of view of those who received them – what was good, bad, what could be improved, what should be changed. Want to know more about what’s involved? Please contact John Goodenough, Director of Nursing at john.goodenough@tgh.nhs.uk

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