"Awful Wait at Phlebotomy"

About: Medway Community Healthcare / Phlebotomy

(as the patient),

I was asked by my GP, after discussion with her, to have some urgent blood tests completed due to fear of a shunt infection.

I arrived at MHS House in Gillingham Business Park just before midday, received a ticket and assumed the patient waiting position in the communal waiting area.

Some time passed and exceptionally slowly patients were called through - in all, I waited over an hour!

The inordinate delay and what felt like ridiculous gaps between patients being called meant that my bloods wouldn't be collected until (I quote) "the 4pm collection", meaning my GP or I wouldn't learn of the results and potentially an urgent need to be admitted to hospital until the next morning.

This is not only worrying, but the potential for harm to a patient due to the delay in calling patients through and then the lack of collections being made and then processing them is, in my opinion, completely unacceptable and unforgivable.

Whilst in the waiting area and chatting to other bemused patients, we noticed a gentleman becoming very unwell; a patient alerted the phlebotomist to this and they came out and chatted to him, but did not expedite his test, offer any advice or care or obtain help/advice from someone more medical. When he was called through about 15 mins later the gentleman could barely stand, was visibly unbalanced, yet there was no help or support offered to him.

As a side note, there is absolutely no privacy or dignity to the test area, chairs are so close you are practically sitting on top of each other and everyone is free to hear all my personal details being read out and checked - completely against all Caldecott guidance! Also, an apology for the wait wouldn't go amiss, especially insulting, given the phlebotomist takes particular care to write down your wait til on their tracker! !

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