"Blood test Queue"

About: Altrincham General Hospital

This is the 3rd time I have been for a blood test at Altrincham, there has always been a lengthy frustrating wait. This time I just gave up and walked out, someone needs to take control and make the department work more efficiently. At the start you take a ticket from the machine which allots you a number for the queue. What they dont tell you that you have to wait in the room next door ! a little sign may help. Number 5 had just been called and I was number 29, I knew I was in for a wait yet again. Number 6 said that he had been there for 90 minutes. I decided to go and buy a Birthday card in Altrincham and came back and sat back in the cue. I realised that no patients were actually in the blood test room and that the nurse was chatting away on the phone about some kind of personal problem that they had that involved a meeting with their union rep, this went on for quite some time much to the annoyance of the patients who could hear the whole phonecall. eventually service resumed and I just ran out of patience and gave up. its like watching a soap in very slow motion and someone should sort it out its an utter waste of peoples time, the actual test itself takes no more than 5 minutes !

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Response from Amy McCawley, Patient Experience Team, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you Mr Hiorns for your feedback. We are sorry to learn that your experience of Altrincham Phlebotomy Department was not as positive as we would hope.

The Deputy Directorate Manager for Medicine at Trafford was sorry to hear of your experience. He explains that the phlebotomy service at Altrincham Hospital can have up to 250 patients in a day and also operates a drop in service. Due to this there is no way to predict the day-to-day demand. The process should be that on arrival in the department you take a ticket and a seat in the main waiting area. There is signage in place to direct patients. You should have then been called through to the smaller waiting room, outside of the phlebotomist’s room, where you should expect to wait for no more than 5 or 10 minutes. We are very sorry that this was not your experience.

The phlebotomy team at Altrincham strive to ensure that there are four members of staff on the unit, however it has not been possible to achieve this consistently, which has led to unavoidable delays for patients attending for blood tests, for which we are very sorry.

The Deputy Directorate Manager was also disappointed to learn that you had cause to leave the phlebotomy unit due to the delay and that you overheard a member of the phlebotomy services engaged in a personal call during a busy time, whilst patients were waiting to be seen. This is clearly unacceptable and as a result of your comments the staff in the phlebotomy unit have all been spoken to with regards to discussing personal matters in front of patients and reminded of the importance of ensuring patients are seen in a timely fashion.

It is often difficult to respond to posts fully due to a lack of detailed information., If you would like to discuss this with us in more detail, please feel free to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk

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