New blood test appointment system at Bedford Hospital causes confusion after GP's text message leaves patients baffled
"Because it was so badly worded, nobody understood it and like me thought they urgently needed a blood test"
A new blood test appointment system - designed to makes people's lives easier - has come under fire after a sudden text message from a GP's surgery caused confusion.
Last month Bedford Today revealed how you no longer had to queue outside North Wing and could book online instead.However, one reader, Penny Bowden, was caught out when she received a text from Pemberley Surgery, telling her about the new service - and she claims she wasn't the only one.
She said: "Because it was so badly worded, nobody understood it and like me thought they urgently needed a blood test linked to a consultation they had had but which turned out to be completely unrelated.
"Others who hadn’t been near their surgeries just thought that if the text from their doctors told them to get a blood test, they’d better obey and tried in vain to book.
"But the message should have made it clear that in future, once you have the standard order form from your doctor that you need a blood test, that you cannot, as before, simply prance into the department, show them the form and roll up your sleeve.
"What it means is that you have to register and then log on to some complicated digital system and book your blood test online or phone up and book it that way."
She went on to say: "It just needed to warn people there was a new system in place - if they said it was due to Covid and you can no longer have a walk-in service, that would have been understandable.
"It was reasonable to assume this in my case as I had just seen my doctor. So when I got this message the following day I thought this was a pre-cursor to that further health probe.
A spokesperson for the De Parys Group said: "We apologise if some patients found our text message about the new booking system for blood tests unclear.
"We were anxious to ensure that all patients were aware of how to access the new appointment system, as these can now be booked online or via the telephone. In addition to the text message, patients are being informed of the change by our support teams when they receive blood test forms, and the information is also available on our website.
"We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to our patients."
A spokesman for Bedford Hospital said: "We’re very pleased with how this important service change is being received.
“We have had very positive feedback from many patients that the new appointment system is reducing wait time and providing certainty for them.
“There has also been excellent use of our online booking system.
“We recognise that whenever changes are made to services, sometimes there can be confusion. We’re sorry to hear if this has happened, but believe these are isolated examples and that most people will find this to be a great step forward.”