Redbridge patients wait more than two months for blood tests
PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 September 2020
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Patients in Redbridge are facing waiting times of more than two months to get blood tests, delaying treatment and medication.
Blood tests at hospitals are only available for inpatients and all other tests are being done through community clinics. But after some have shut there is now only one open in the borough.
The CCG apologised for the long waits and plans to open up new clinics by the end of September, including one in Wanstead.
Ilford North MP Wes Streeting said while the pandemic has put an incredible strain on the NHS, “we cannot allow the virus to be used as an excuse for poor performance when our local NHS is performing worse than other areas of London”.
Emma Friddin, who has a severe form of arthritis, needs to have regular blood tests every two weeks in order to take her medication.
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Earlier this year after blood tests were shut at BHR hospitals she was able to book regular appointments at various community clinics. But last week the only one available was the Loxford Polyclinic which couldn#t take appointments until mid-November.
She said: “Lots of people like me are getting desperate. There are only 31 slots a day at Loxford Polyclinic and it’s ludicrous to have so few availabilities for an entire borough.”
A spokesperson for the Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge clinical commissioning groups (BHR CCGs) said moving services from hospitals into GP surgeries and health centres has been a huge undertaking, but was necessary to ensure safety measures were in place for patients and staff during the pandemic.
“We are all working hard to get the new service up and running and will be reducing waiting times and adding new clinics in Redbridge in the next few weeks. This will include a single walk-in service at the Heronwood and Galleon site in Wanstead, which is due to open by late September.
“GPs can still arrange urgent tests for patients who must be seen more quickly.
“Getting these community settings up and running means that patients needing non-urgent blood tests are currently facing waits and we apologise for the inconvenience.”
Mr Streeting said he is meeting with representatives from BHRUT this week and he raised concerns with the Redbridge CCG about this and other performance issues.
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