‘I can’t wait 12 days for blood test’, woman slams service at Sudbury health centre

Sudbury Community Health Centre ANL-141221-170600009
Sudbury Community Health Centre ANL-141221-170600009

A woman has blasted the service at Sudbury’s phlebotomy clinic in Sudbury Community Health centre, after being given a choice of waiting for three hours or 12 days for a blood test, all the time trying to spend as much time as possible with her seriously ill husband.

After initial blood tests revealed unusual infection results, Linda Monk from Kempson Drive, Great Cornard, was trying to book a second test this morning (May 13).

Her husband is currently severely ill in Colchester Hospital so her time is restricted, but she was shocked to find it could take up to 12 days to have a second test while potentially suffering from an infection..

“My husband is in Colchester hospital severely ill, he may not survive,” said the 63-year-old. “I needed repeat blood tests as the first ones done on Wednesday, May 11, showed unusual infection results.

“I turned up at 8.30am. As a walk in patient the first bookable appointment online was May 25. My wait time was two hours and 55 minutes. That was not possible as I need to get to Colchester Hospital.”

Angered by this, Mrs Monk, a retired lecturer, contacted the NHS to ask why the wait was so long.

“Does the NHS want me to continue with an infection until May 25?,” she asked. “I am told I need to be there at 8am to get an early walk in ticket.

“Do I camp out on Sunday night for Monday morning or I could leave my husband early and take a chance on a walk in just before the service finishes? Probably a wasted journey.”

Criticising the new online system which was introduced when the health centre first opened, Mrs Monk added: “This is a ludicrous situation that has not improved the service but ruined it and I could see it was causing hassle for staff.

“There’s no solution for me, but the last couple of weeks, with my husband’s deterioration and my own problem, do make me afraid to be ill in the future and for the first time ever question the quality of the NHS.”

Andrew Knott, commercial director of the Pathology Partnership, said: “We would like to apologise to Mrs Monk for the delay she experienced when she used the Sudbury phlebotomy centre.

“It is not acceptable that a patient has to wait for almost three hours to have a blood sample taken.

“There is a challenge at the Sudbury phlebotomy clinic because the number of patients wanting to use this service significantly exceeds the capacity of the service and we are exploring future options for the service at Sudbury.”