Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Why have NHS changed story over Blood testing at King George for under 7s?

Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Groups sent me the following earlier today

We’ve been looking into the blood tests for young children issue that you raised and are happy to clarify.

Firstly, the Trust has confirmed to us that any child aged 3 and over can have their blood tests carried out at King George Hospital, in the main phlebotomy area, if their parent/carer wishes. That hasn’t changed.

Queen’s Hospital has for some time offered a service for under 3s and children with learning difficulties, to have their blood tests at Queen's in a dedicated area by a specialist paediatric phlebotomist. These phlebotomists are specifically trained to deal with young children, to reduce stress and make the process as smooth and painless as possible, which you’ll appreciate is a good thing.

In September last year the Trust employed a second paediatric phlebotomist at Queen’s to expand that service to benefit more young patients. At that point the service was expanded to the under 5s, and in January this year, as part of a phased approach, expanded again to treat the under 7s.

That specialist service has never been offered at King George but the Trust is now looking into replicating that service at King George at some point later this year.

So, it seems the confusion was caused by posters about the specialist service at Queen’s being put up in King George. To clarify – children over 3 can be tested at King George, but under 3s, needing the specialist service, are seen at Queen’s. ENDs (my emphasis above)

While the statement is welcome, there appears a bias in favour of Queens because the statement appears to be saying that Queens has two paediatric phlebotomists, with none at King George. This must raise concerns about revealing an attitude about running services down at King George. Secondly, the NHS have changed their story. BHRUT was saying in the tweet below that "Those over the age of 7 are still able to have blood tests at King George" These 18 January tweets now appear to be deleted from the BHRUT twitter account.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Photoshoot outside Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group, Becketts House, Ilford Hill on Thursday 28 January 2016 at 1pm.

Under 3s cannot have a blood test at King George Hospital, instead they have to go to Queens. For families closer to King George than Queens this means more time spent on transport than necessary leading to:

More pollution, traffic, and an increased risk of road accidents. Some parents will face more time off work which could bring a financial penalty.

Last week at a Redbridge Council meeting available here under public questions:


Councillor Mark Santos Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care announced he had spoken to BHRUT and they said they intended to provide blood testing for under 3s at King George. Since then BHRUT has not provided a statement about when the service will start. Until a written statement by BHRUT is produced with a firm date on it there must be a concern that the plan for blood testing at King George for the under 3 is an aspiration rather than a firm commitment.

The purpose of the photoshoot is to request the CCG to instruct BHRUT to provide a date when the service will start. The CCG meets on the 28th at 1:30pm.Please phone Andy on 07956 263088 before attending in case BHRUT decide to provide a date before the meeting starts, the photoshoot is at 1pm.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Save King George Hospital Meeting Redbridge Town Hall Midday Friday 22 January

The next meeting of the save King George Hospital campaign team will take place this Friday 22 January at Redbridge Town Hall at midday..

The decision of BHRUT to remove blood testing for under 7s from King George Hospital earlier this month without notifying Councillors will be discussed. This reduction of service is wrong because it will for

  1. Will mean missing more time of work for some parents,
  2. Missing more time from school for children,
  3. Adding to congestion, pollution and risk of accidents

For those families closer to King George than Queens. The BHRUT twitter account account relies on the CQC as authority for the closure. It does no such thing it says the service needs improving, which is what BHRUT should have done instead of closing it.

Slowly reducing bold testing at King George will mean that the pathology lab on the King George Site can be closed in stages, rather than in go which would likely be more difficult for the Queens pathology lab to cope with.

Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group who have the power to instruct BHRUT to start blood testing again for the under 7s meet in Ilford on the 28th January at 1:30pm. Perhaps there will be sufficient support for a photoshoot outside the meeting at 1:15pm asking for the return of under 7 blood testing to King George.

BHRUT have been offered a right of reply to be published on this site.