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Blood test refunds offered after patients told to book GP due to 'staffing issue'

Blood test refunds offered after patients told to book GP due to 'staffing issue'

Friday 28 January 2022

Blood test refunds offered after patients told to book GP due to 'staffing issue'

Friday 28 January 2022


The Health Department is offering a refund to anyone who went to the GP for an urgent blood test after being told their appointment was cancelled due to staffing problems.

Last week, patients expecting tests in the coming week were called and told that their appointments were cancelled, with many advised to instead book a test with their GP if they urgently required results.

Some, however, are understood to have reported to the service that they would struggle to afford this, or may not be able to at all. 

Around 24 hours after the cancellations, the Government said on Thursday afternoon that all affected patients would have their phlebotomy appointments reinstated or rebooked.

An apology issued on Facebook stated that the cancellations had arisen due to an “administrative error”. 

However, Express understands that, due to staff sickness, there were concerns that the service could be suspended for up to six weeks. 

Provisions were subsequently put in place at short notice – after patients had been contacted – but it’s understood that some members of permanent staff were still absent this week.

In response to questions from Express on the matter, the Government maintained that staffing was, and is, sufficient to operate the service and that the appointments should not have been cancelled.

Islanders have been contacted to rebook their appointments, but some have expressed concerns about the delay. One islander with a condition meaning that it is “very important” their bloods are monitored regularly said that their new appointment won’t be until mid-February.

When asked whether anyone who booked a GP appointment upon the department’s advice would be reimbursed, a Health Department spokesperson thanked Express for raising the issue.

They added: “Last week Phlebotomy appointments were cancelled in error. While most were quickly reinstated, we gave some patients the wrong advice and told them to visit their GP practice.

“Where this has happened we would like to make sure patients are refunded and so ask them to please contact the patient feedback team.

“We apologise again for the inconvenience this caused patients and will work hard to remedy the refund situation for those affected.” 

 

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