"Altrincham Pathology"

About: Altrincham General Hospital

I am on Methotrexate and have to have monthly blood tests which I have at Altrincham plus my doctor has requested a further blood test, non fasting, for my yearly check up. I have been away and went along to your clinic today at 2.30 to find no more patients were being seen due to high demand. Is this a managerial decision to close the clinic earlier than the 3.30 finishing time? If local surgeries are now sending all their patients to Altrincham for blood tests, shouldn't more nurses be made available for the high demand.

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

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to learn that your experience was not as positive as we would hope when you attended Altrincham Hospital Phlebotomy Department. It is important to us that comments are heard and seen as an opportunity provided to the service to make changes and improvements wherever possible.

We are very sorry that the department was closed early on the day of your attendance and for the inconvenience this caused you. The Operational Manager for Altrincham Hospital explains that if the number of patients attending for blood tests is higher than the staff can safely manage, they have to close as they are unable to see any more patients. This is because all blood samples have to be taken in preparation for collection and transportation by 3.30 pm. There is no facility to retain blood samples in the Hospital overnight.

It has been recognised that the decision to close earlier than 3.30 pm should be discussed with a Senior Manager who would then be available in the department to speak with the patients, explain the reasons for early closure and signpost alternative arrangements for blood testing. If a decision is needed to close the department early, patients should be fully informed as to why and offered the opportunity to speak to a member of the management team.

The nurses providing the service at Altrincham Hospital are managed by Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and the decision to withdraw provision for blood testing in the community was taken by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Please be assured that the Altrincham Hospital Management team are constantly reviewing staffing and putting actions in place to address any short falls with the aim of maintaining an efficient service.

It is difficult to respond to all the posts in a full way often because of a lack of detailed information, therefore 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