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.

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