Patients who need a blood test at St Helier Hospital will now be seen in a light, bright, and welcoming Phlebotomy Department thanks to a £500,000 relocation and refurbishment.
With up to 450 people coming to the department for a blood test every day, it’s vital that the unit can cater for hundreds of people in a safe and social distanced way, and that our expert phlebotomists (the people who perform the blood test) have a modern space to work in.
Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles helped to declare the new unit officially open recently at a small ribbon cutting ceremony. He said: “Blood tests are part and parcel of modern health care – they are routine for many of our patients and because of that, their importance might sometimes be taken for granted, but the fact is that blood tests build the foundation of our patients’ care. They can evaluate how well essential organs are working, can help our staff to quickly diagnose certain diseases and conditions such as cancer, HIV, diabetes and anaemia, and can be used to determine whether a patient has risk factors for heart disease. It’s right that this vital service has an environment worthy of seeing up to 450 patients a day, and so I am delighted to see the new unit open and serving patients.”
Helen Johnstone, Interim Clinical Director for Pathology, Clinical Services and Therapies, said: “The team and I are delighted about the move. The new department has given us a much needed refresh and upgrade from our old facilities. It’s much bigger than our previous facility, with an extra testing bay (taking us to a total of seven), a large reception and waiting area and a staff room that the team are really pleased with! It also has some modern touches, such as air cooling to help keep our patients and staff comfortable.
“We have had great feedback from the patients we have seen so far. Visitors have praised the new look of the department and have been comforted by the fact they are visiting a state-of-the-art facility. The booking process has also been streamlined with the introduction of Swiftqueue, an online system that patients can use to book a blood test – even on the same day – and avoid any waiting when they arrive at the department. Patients have found Swiftqueue easy to use and it has greatly decreased waiting times in comparison to walk-in clinics. The technology has also helped management of the department, as we can plan for the day a lot more effectively now we can visualise how many patients we will be seeing and can organise the required staffing to accommodate this.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen – from our brilliant Estates Team to our dedicated phlebotomists who stayed after hours on the evening of the move to ensure it was a success. With such an amazing team, the future for St Helier’s Phlebotomy Department is bright.”
If you need health care, whether as an emergency in A&E or are due to have a planned appointment with us, please do not delay accessing our services. Epsom and St Helier is here to help you. To find out more about our Phlebotomy Department, please visit the page on our website (www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/blood-tests) or to book a blood test, please visit the Swiftqueue website (swiftqueue.co.uk/esh.php).