Fears of delays as blood testing set to move to Bedford

Southend Standard: Fears of delays as blood testing set to move to Bedford Fears of delays as blood testing set to move to Bedford

PATIENTS fear they could be left waiting longer for urgent blood test results if plans to move a service 88 miles away to Bedford go ahead.

The regional health authority NHS East of England is proposing to move pathology services - screening blood samples - to a centralised base via Harlow rather than the current local laboratory system.

GPs have already raised their concerns that the move will leave patients facing long waits for the tests taken locally, but sent away for analysis.

The Local Medical Committee has written to all doctors, urging them to make their views clear as it believes the current system – which it describes as excellent – does not need to change.

Paul Saunders chairman of cancer support group Lymphona Support For You expressed his concerns.

Patients with certain types of lymphoma blood cancers need regular tests to check antibody levels and decide on sometime daily treatments, radiotherapy or blood transfusions required.

Mr Saunders said: ”I’m astounded there has been no consultation, I’ve not heard of this until now.

“If there are improvements in a service then Ive never known anyone keep quiet about it. It looks like things are coming in through the back door and It smacks of trying to save money.

“This is a worry - how is it going to work? It can only lead to delays in results. Speed is essential in the treatment of some lymphomas. This is a backwards step.”

A Southend GP, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Patient care will suffer; the current system works well and is comprehensive. We have got a good rapport with the pathology service/ technicians /consultants and we can contact them easily. The service is quick and reliable.

“There will be 4000 samples per day from Essex to Bedford - along the M25 - by the time the samples reach the lab we often would have results available from our current provider - Southend Hospital.”

They added it would mean more problems when medics compare results from the community (outpatient results) with hospital (inpatient results) blood results to identify trends.

It is understood four journeys a day will be made to Bedford with increased transport costs. There are also concerns about potential job losses.

John Gibson is chairman of the Asset Trust set up in response to the threat of moving cancer services from Southend to a cancer centre in Romford in the mid Eighties.

The trust continues to buy and permanently load the latest technology and equipment to Southend currently it loans 271 pieces of equipment at a book value of £1.3million.

Mr Gibson said: “We’ve spent  20 years putting the latest technology in to Southend including in the pathology labs and to see people be put at risk with these proposals is lunatic by any standard.

“Currently the pathologists can have blood tests within minutes and results as quick as an hour.

“How long is it all going to take driving them to Harlow  then sent up to Bedford and somehow getting the results back?
 

“It  is dangerous and prone to all sorts of problems not least with communication and traffic delays. I’m absolutely furious about it. All our hard work is being torpedoed by some crackpot scheme. It can only lead to disaster and ultimately a coroner’s court when something goes wrong.”

Comments (10)

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2:04pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Aint it just the truth says...

Plain stupidity. Thousands of patients (or should we call them customers?) will suffer for days longer if this goes ahead just to save a few pounds. Reminds me of the way they sacked all the regular cleaners who used to do their job with pride and replaced them with marginally cheaper contract cleaners who don't give a **** about doing the job well. The net result is that the hospital is now awash with infections that shouldn't be there. If they really want to save money how about sacking all the grossly overpaid and useless management team who come up with silly ideas like this.
Plain stupidity. Thousands of patients (or should we call them customers?) will suffer for days longer if this goes ahead just to save a few pounds. Reminds me of the way they sacked all the regular cleaners who used to do their job with pride and replaced them with marginally cheaper contract cleaners who don't give a **** about doing the job well. The net result is that the hospital is now awash with infections that shouldn't be there. If they really want to save money how about sacking all the grossly overpaid and useless management team who come up with silly ideas like this. Aint it just the truth
  • Score: 0

3:46pm Thu 13 Dec 12

whataday says...

Aint it just the truth wrote:
Plain stupidity. Thousands of patients (or should we call them customers?) will suffer for days longer if this goes ahead just to save a few pounds. Reminds me of the way they sacked all the regular cleaners who used to do their job with pride and replaced them with marginally cheaper contract cleaners who don't give a **** about doing the job well. The net result is that the hospital is now awash with infections that shouldn't be there. If they really want to save money how about sacking all the grossly overpaid and useless management team who come up with silly ideas like this.
Spot on
[quote][p][bold]Aint it just the truth[/bold] wrote: Plain stupidity. Thousands of patients (or should we call them customers?) will suffer for days longer if this goes ahead just to save a few pounds. Reminds me of the way they sacked all the regular cleaners who used to do their job with pride and replaced them with marginally cheaper contract cleaners who don't give a **** about doing the job well. The net result is that the hospital is now awash with infections that shouldn't be there. If they really want to save money how about sacking all the grossly overpaid and useless management team who come up with silly ideas like this.[/p][/quote]Spot on whataday
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Thu 13 Dec 12

whataday says...

This is an absolutely ridiculous idea. What happens when urgent blood tests required in the night etc. This service should remain in the local hospitals. This has all sorts of risk management problems. Suppose the person who came up with this bright idea is yet another manager who has been moved sideways or promotoed because they have already mucked up another department
This is an absolutely ridiculous idea. What happens when urgent blood tests required in the night etc. This service should remain in the local hospitals. This has all sorts of risk management problems. Suppose the person who came up with this bright idea is yet another manager who has been moved sideways or promotoed because they have already mucked up another department whataday
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Thu 13 Dec 12

jolllyboy says...

Time for a petition someone - get this idea shot down it is outrageous. What is our NHS coming to.
Time for a petition someone - get this idea shot down it is outrageous. What is our NHS coming to. jolllyboy
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Almeda11 says...

This country getrs stupider by the day !
This country getrs stupider by the day ! Almeda11
  • Score: 0

8:26pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Almeda11 says...

This country gets stupider by the day !
This country gets stupider by the day ! Almeda11
  • Score: 0

10:12pm Thu 13 Dec 12

perini says...

The absolute moron who came up with this one should go have a frontal lobotomy immediately - sorry ~I mean a reverse operation to insert a brain! Save our money and sack his sorry ****, in fact get a few more nurses on board instead of this numpty.
The absolute moron who came up with this one should go have a frontal lobotomy immediately - sorry ~I mean a reverse operation to insert a brain! Save our money and sack his sorry ****, in fact get a few more nurses on board instead of this numpty. perini
  • Score: 0

11:53pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Judge Fish says...

This is a done deal; the end result of a debate that has been simmering in the background for the past couple of years. It was always going to happen and ultimately it will have been motivated by the need for the trust and the other hospitals involved to make savings. Expect more of this kind of thing as the effects of the Health and Social Care Bill come into play next year and market forces
take on an increased influence in the provision of health care by the NHS.

As the article mentions, the relationships that local GPs have with the hospital is important but often overlooked by the teams of footstep-counting, time and motion consultants who occasionally descend upon the site. In the past community doctors have delivered samples to the labs themselves during blizzard conditions. Those who are worried about particular patients will sometimes phone the lab in advance and ask staff to keep an eye out for a sample.

There are also odd cases in which nothing untoward is suspected until the results of a test comes back, at which point the GP can be quickly notified and the patient brought into hospital at the earliest opportunity.

It should be noted that the present Pathology staff are employees of Southend Hospital and directly accountable to the trust. In delegating responsibility to a secondary party the hospital relinquishes its ability to directly monitor and control the quality of the service, other than through whatever sanctions are written into its contract with the new providers.

It's not a great day for healthcare in Southend but I very much doubt that stupidity was a factor in the end decision. Those who made it likely had a number of unpalatable choices on the table. I would hope that they opted for the one they thought would have the least impact on patient care.
This is a done deal; the end result of a debate that has been simmering in the background for the past couple of years. It was always going to happen and ultimately it will have been motivated by the need for the trust and the other hospitals involved to make savings. Expect more of this kind of thing as the effects of the Health and Social Care Bill come into play next year and market forces take on an increased influence in the provision of health care by the NHS. As the article mentions, the relationships that local GPs have with the hospital is important but often overlooked by the teams of footstep-counting, time and motion consultants who occasionally descend upon the site. In the past community doctors have delivered samples to the labs themselves during blizzard conditions. Those who are worried about particular patients will sometimes phone the lab in advance and ask staff to keep an eye out for a sample. There are also odd cases in which nothing untoward is suspected until the results of a test comes back, at which point the GP can be quickly notified and the patient brought into hospital at the earliest opportunity. It should be noted that the present Pathology staff are employees of Southend Hospital and directly accountable to the trust. In delegating responsibility to a secondary party the hospital relinquishes its ability to directly monitor and control the quality of the service, other than through whatever sanctions are written into its contract with the new providers. It's not a great day for healthcare in Southend but I very much doubt that stupidity was a factor in the end decision. Those who made it likely had a number of unpalatable choices on the table. I would hope that they opted for the one they thought would have the least impact on patient care. Judge Fish
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Sat 15 Dec 12

Little John says...

This is extremely worrying. I was taken ill on Thursday and found myself in a ward at Southend Hospital. In order to clarify if I had damaged my heart I needed to have a few blood tests. One was done at 9.00pm and I had another at 1.15am. The results, as the tests were done in-house, were available in one hour. It turns out there was no long term problems with my heart. I was discharged within 24 hours of turning up at A&E. Because of the quick turnaround with the testing; my bed was available for the next case

However, what if the tests were done in Bedford? I can’t see them sending a car a few times during the night all the way to Bedford with just my samples. I would imagine there would be a once per day slot to get the samples to Bedford. The worst case scenario I can see is a massive delay for a patient who maybe has had a stroke or heart attack not having access to the medication they would need in time to lessen the effects of their condition. Also, if my tests were done in Bedford, I would probably have been in there for 48 hours pointlessly taking up a bed.

I have to go to Bedford fairly often. It takes, on a good day, under two hours. On a bad day when the M25 or M1 are either shut or have delays, it can take around 5 hours to get there. Some days it has been so hard to get there I have turned around. All the roads surrounding the closed motorways get totally gridlocked with stationary vehicles.

Worrying times indeed.
This is extremely worrying. I was taken ill on Thursday and found myself in a ward at Southend Hospital. In order to clarify if I had damaged my heart I needed to have a few blood tests. One was done at 9.00pm and I had another at 1.15am. The results, as the tests were done in-house, were available in one hour. It turns out there was no long term problems with my heart. I was discharged within 24 hours of turning up at A&E. Because of the quick turnaround with the testing; my bed was available for the next case However, what if the tests were done in Bedford? I can’t see them sending a car a few times during the night all the way to Bedford with just my samples. I would imagine there would be a once per day slot to get the samples to Bedford. The worst case scenario I can see is a massive delay for a patient who maybe has had a stroke or heart attack not having access to the medication they would need in time to lessen the effects of their condition. Also, if my tests were done in Bedford, I would probably have been in there for 48 hours pointlessly taking up a bed. I have to go to Bedford fairly often. It takes, on a good day, under two hours. On a bad day when the M25 or M1 are either shut or have delays, it can take around 5 hours to get there. Some days it has been so hard to get there I have turned around. All the roads surrounding the closed motorways get totally gridlocked with stationary vehicles. Worrying times indeed. Little John
  • Score: 0

5:22am Sun 30 Dec 12

healthlottery says...

http://www.corporate
watch.org/?lid=4550 (article on failures)

Serco/bedford ^^^^^^

East of England strategic - believe this will improve service.,

service at southend and basildon hospitals is amazing and should be left alone, i could not trust any service from serco business partners.
http://www.corporate watch.org/?lid=4550 (article on failures) Serco/bedford ^^^^^^ East of England strategic - believe this will improve service., service at southend and basildon hospitals is amazing and should be left alone, i could not trust any service from serco business partners. healthlottery
  • Score: 0

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