Walk in blood-test update

December 6, 2013 at 9:37 am | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 2 Comments

Well I went for my first walk-in blood test yesterday. It was, of course, the predicted ‘disaster’ but not in the way I had imagined. In fact, I didn’t have to wait at all!! Amazing, huh? Well … not really. The reason I didn’t have to wait was that the blood test clinic was finished by the time I went in.

I had a busy day yesterday – it’s coming up to Christmas so the ”Junior penguins’ as my colleagues are affectionately known,  even though one is a little older than me, are taking all their remaining holiday in the run-up to Christmas. Who told me it was a good idea, when I started this business, to run the holiday year January to December? So I didn’t go down to the surgery until about 12:00.

Now you know that I know that I knew better if you’ve read the previous post, but you will also know that I wasn’t that bothered about having one of these tests so I thought I’d try it and see. The letter we all received from the surgery said, ‘please come in for your bloods every four weeks on a Thursday…’ with no indication of time.

When I arrived I saw the board (where you take your little number from) was gone, so I said to the receptionist, ‘Has the blood clinic finished then?’ ‘Oh yes,’ says she, ‘ it runs from 8:30 to 11:00.’ Well that explains why that poor woman a few weeks ago had been waiting an hour and a half from 7:30 then – no one had told her it didn’t start till 8:30 … and no one had told me it finished at 11:00. I pointed out to the receptionist that it might have been helpful to have put times in the letter and she opened her big, blue eyes wide and said, ‘Yeah …’ So I’m sure that will be fed back at the next meeting with the practice manager … NOT!

There were also big notices around saying ‘If you need to be seen quickly for your walk-in blood test for work, personal or any other reason, please arrive between 8:30 and 9:00 …’ So clearly their ‘We can see everyone in and out in 30 seconds flat’ or whatever it was is as much of a dismal failure now as it was a few weeks ago.

Well done guys!

Still … reasons to be cheerful* – I don’t NEED a monthly blood test, according to all the stats, so that’s fine by me. I’ll keep on having the three-monthly ones with my lovely rheumy nurse. It’s not as though anything ever shows up in my bloods anyway (well hardly ever), so I’m really not that fussed … just irritated on behalf of everyone else whose bloods do matter!  (OK, and irritated because I’ve got a bit of PMT and I have to be irritated about SOMETHING!)  🙂



* I am Pollyanna Penguin after all – have to play Pollyanna’s glad game sometimes!!



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  1. Hehe – on Friday we went for our monthly vampire fest, hoping that since the GP surgeries hadn’t been open since Christmas Eve it would be quiet and at 8.30 there would be free parking nearby. Correct on both counts 🙂
    We had to wait a few minutes to check-in, mainly because it was newbies ahead of us who went and sat down and ignored the flashing lights showing the next number to be dealt with – almost all of them waited until the voice announcing the number who was missing. They are the sort with 5 layers of clothing to remove before you can bleed them as well!
    Only one of the three vampires on duty was doing INRs – she called the number before me and I thought great, not long now. And sat there, and sat there, and sat there. TWENTY minutes – and in the meantime new people were coming in the door and their number was flashing for other bloods before they’d left check-in!
    When we finally got called in the lady before us was a frail little bunny who’d obviously been in over Christmas and they were still checking her INRs frequently. The vampire had had no joy in the elbow vein and had had to search for somewhere else, eventually choosing the one at the base of her thumb.
    And THAT is why you cannot say you can deal with x patients in y minutes. Especially when you try x=y.
    Happy New Year Polly!

  2. Happy New Year to you too – and QUITE!!! I don’t mind waiting if I know there’s a real reason why, especially if we’re kept informed – but let’s face it, that hardly ever happens. I object to being kept waiting if it’s because of totally unrealistic time targets being set in the first place and on top of that there’s no information about what’s going on. Sadly the latter seems to be becoming the norm! Let’s hope 2014 brings better!

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