Petition to keep Erith Hospital's appointment system to be considered by health trust
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 August 2018
A health trust will "take into account" concerns raised by an 800-strong petition calling for Erith Hospital's appointment system to be retained.
A row between NHS bosses and concerned patients had broken out after it was revealed the hospital was planning to revert to a “sit and wait” system for blood tests.
The phlebotomy clinic at the hospital – which deals with blood tests – had planned to return to a ‘first come, first served’ system before outcry from some patients forced bosses to reconsider.
Erith Hospital said it was reviewing its booking policy after it found that 20 per cent of patients were missing blood test appointments.
Now, a petition for the hospital to keep its current system, launched by resident Bob Moore, has since been backed by nearly 900 people – including Erith MP Teresa Pearce.
The petition explains: “If this service reverts back to the old sit and wait system it will be detrimental to a large number of patients, many of whom are families, elderly and disabled that cannot reach a larger hospital.
“The reason being given for going back to the old system, is that too many patients are unable to get through on the phone to book their appointments. So the majority are being penalised over the minority.”
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, which manages the service, said a review is necessary because of the amount of missed appointments through the current telephone booking system.
In response to the petition, the trust said that 78 patients a week are not attending their appointments.
A spokesman said: “We will take account of the issues raised in this petition, and we are retaining the current appointments system while we review the service.
“It is clear that changes are needed to meet the needs of everyone who uses the clinic. At present, we find that, on average, 78 patients do not attend scheduled appointments each week.
“This reduces the number of people we can see and makes it hard to offer appointments in a timely manner. As a result, a number of local people are forced to travel further afield to other clinics when they require urgent blood tests.
“We do understand concerns about introducing a walk-in service, so we are looking at the options available, and feedback from those who use the service, before reaching a decision on the best way forward.”
The petition can be seen here: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/16376211.Row_over_Erith_hospital_blood_test_policy_as_fifth_of_patients_miss_appointments/.