Erith phlebotomy service - position statement - 17 September 2018
1. Earlier this year, Lewisham and Greenwich Trust (LGT) considered changing the appointments system at Erith Hospital, moving to a walk-in service. This was because of the high DNA rate – on average 78 patients a week. The appointments system had been introduced about two years ago and given the DNA rates did not appear to be working as effectively and efficiently as it might do.
2. The high number of patients missing appointments meant that it was difficult for LGT to offer appointments in a timely manner when people required urgent blood tests. As a result, some local people were having to travel to other clinics for their blood tests.
3. Concerns were raised by local people about the changes being considered and in the light of these concerns it was decided not to progress the proposed move to a walk-in service.
4. At the same time the number of people not attending appointments has reduced from 78 to around 40 a week, so the position has improved, although we will continue to monitor this. We are also looking at the scope to improve the current facility to provide a better overall patient experience.
5. We have also improved access to phlebotomy more generally as we are experiencing an overall increase in demand. In July an additional walk-in phlebotomy clinic at Lakeside Health Centre in Thamesmead was opened (7.5 hours a week) and an additional booked service at Bexley Medical Group in Upper Wickham Lane is also being opened (7.5 hours a week).
6. No further changes to the service are proposed and the current Erith access and booking arrangements, with booked appointments, will remain in place. Any changes proposed in the future will be subject to full engagement processes, to include the views of service users and Overview and Scrutiny review, prior to any changes being made.