More criticism of wait times for blood tests

LEAVENHEATH: Couple complaining about Sudbury's phlebotomy clinic
Neill's Fry's wife Joan was injured in an accident. The hospital has advised she needs a blood test in 3 days but Neill could not get one for a week.
Picture Mark Westley ANL-160531-163551009
LEAVENHEATH: Couple complaining about Sudbury's phlebotomy clinic Neill's Fry's wife Joan was injured in an accident. The hospital has advised she needs a blood test in 3 days but Neill could not get one for a week. Picture Mark Westley ANL-160531-163551009
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A man has called for action over “unacceptable” waiting times for blood tests at Sudbury’s phlebotomy clinic.

Neil Fry said he could not get a blood test for his wife Joan for a week - after she was released from hospital recently and told to get a blood test done after three days.

Mr Fry, 79, from High Road, Leavenheath said he was left feeling very frustrated at having to care for his wife and make calls to try and get a blood test within the time recommended by the hospital.

He said: “I know that other people have also had a terrible time trying to get blood tests booked in.

“Something has got to be done - it can’t carry on like this. It’s utterly disgraceful.”

His wife Joan, 75, was injured whilst playing golf at the Newton Green course and was taken by ambulance to Colchester Hospital.

Mr Fry said his wife received “excellent treatment” at Colchester Hospital for a broken heel and injured shoulder, and was discharged four days later.

“Because she is on medication, the hospital said she must have a blood test three days after being discharged. After looking online to book a blood test, the earliest I could get an appointment was for a week’s time, which is unacceptable and ridiculous.

“When I rang to speak to them, they suggested I contacted my GP to see if a district nurse could come out and do a blood test.

“My wife is in a cast and cannot put any weight on her foot and, because of the injury to her shoulder, she is having trouble getting in and out of a car.

“However, my surgery - Siam Surgery - which I have been with for 40 years, has told me we live too far away for them to send out a district nurse and they told me ‘you have got to find another practice.’

“It’s been an utterly disgraceful experience.”

Mr Fry’s comments about blood test waits comes on the back of another patient’s complaints.

Linda Monk, from Kempson Drive, Great Cornard, was a told it could take up to 12 days for a second blood test when she didn’t have time to wait three hours as a walk-in patient at Sudbury Community Health Centre.

She also criticised an online service which was introduced when the health centre first opened.

Mr Fry also blasted the call service.

“When I rang the health centre I got a answer message telling to press a particular number, which didn’t work. The clinic staff admitted that line wasn’t working properly.”

Mr Fry has yet to receive any apology after his complaint to the clinic and to his surgery.

He added: “I just think the organisation of the appointments is very poor.”

Another man has also complained about the waiting times.

Eighty-two-year-old John Deeks was told he would also have to wait more than a week for an appointment.

He said: “In Walnuttree Hospital, we took a ticket and you were out in 15 minutes. You would expect a new system like this that cost so much money they could take a blood test within a week.

“It took me three phone calls to make a complaint. In the time I spent arguing at the health centre, they could have done the job 10 times,” he added.

to get an appointment within a satisfactory time period to have a blood sample taken at the Sudbury phlebotomy centre.

“The phlebotomy centre operates on a mix of pre-booked appointments and walk-in slots.

“However, the number of patients wanting to use the Sudbury phlebotomy centre significantly exceeds the capacity of the clinic, and we are currently exploring options to address this situation for patients in Sudbury.”