"Phlebotomy Department"

About: East Surrey Hospital

I have been at this department today with my wife, for her INR blood test, and am appalled at the service. At one time there were 48 routine patients waiting and it appeared at times that there was 1 maybe 2 phlebotomists working and they seemed to be on a go slow. Frustratingly, whilst routine patients were waiting sometimes 15/20 between being attended, priority patients would be walking in and straight into the clinic. Never once did any member of staff make any attempt to apologise for the delays. My wife and I were there for 2 hours 15 minutes which is really unacceptable. I really hope future INR blood tests can be done at our surgery so we won't need to come to this department again. Date of visit - 5th May 2015

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Michael Rayment, Service & Quality Director, Frontier Pathology NHS Partnership, Pathology, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Anonymous

Firstly, my apologies for the delay in replying. I needed to gather some information from certain people so I had the facts.

Thank you for your posting concerning the delay your wife experienced on Tues 5th May at the phlebotomy department at East Surrey Hospital. Over two hours is not acceptable by any standard and I do apologise to you and your wife unreservedly.

However, there were some unexpected issues on that day which made a busy day even busier.

The day after the bank holiday is always very busy but on this occasion it was unexpectedly so with more patients attending the Haematology clinic than we were expecting based on the clinic lists.

The majority of these patients required either chemotherapy or other specialist treatments during their visit. They are prioritised for blood tests because they have appointments with the Consultant Haematologists and because of their condition, many will have poor immunity and so need to spend as little time as possible mixing with other patients. There are plans to relocate either the clinic or Phlebotomy to another part of the hospital to improve the situation but that will some time to bring about.

This specialist clinic coupled with patients such as your wife who required routine investigations simply overwhelmed the department on that day. Also, 2 Phlebotomists were off sick that day and I was not able to bring staff back from the wards to compensate.

Nevertheless, waiting for 2 hours and 15 minutes for a blood test is totally unacceptable. We were just caught out by this unusual and unforeseen situation which was beyond the control of the phlebotomists. I am also sorry that none of the Phlebotomists offered an apology as they were instructed to because of the situation. I will speak with them about this.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the very poor experience that your wife had whilst visiting the Phlebotomy department at East Surrey Hospital and hope that if you or your wife need to visit the department again, we will do much better.


Mike Rayment,

Pathology Services & Quality Manager

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful