Donor attacks blood clinic waiting times at Royal Free Hospital

The Royal Free Hospital’s blood clinic has come under fire from a furious patient just a week after it was lavished with praise.

In a letter to the Ham&High last week, Joan Moffatt of Age UK Camden’s consultation action group, lauded the service for cutting waiting times and creating more privacy.

The letter was read by Deirdre Yager of Glenmore Road, Belsize Park, who was sitting in the waiting room last Thursday having a very different experience.

Ms Yager said: “I was lucky that I found one of the last seats in the very busy waiting room and only had to wait 36 minutes for my test.

“However, by the time I left, the situation was very much worse as the waiting room was completely packed with lots of people standing and two people in wheelchairs squeezed in.

“The corridor outside was packed with people waiting and there was a huge queue which was just to get a ticket to get in the waiting system.

“I took some photos and explained to several people in the crowd that I had just read a letter extolling the improvements in the clinic and those who heard agreed that I should send a photo to the Ham&High.

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“It barely shows the chaos as I could only fit in a small part. Draw your own conclusions.”

Bosses at the hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead, said a new blood room was opened in January, which brought all 10 blood booths together in one place on the ground floor.

They argue that this has resulted in between 85 and 95 per cent of patients being seen within 10 minutes, as opposed to just 35 per cent before January.

A spokeswoman said: “We are sorry that patients experienced a longer waiting time on this occasion.

“The blood room is always busy on Thursdays due to the volume of out-patient clinics and we plan for this.

“However, there was increased activity due to the bank holiday weekend.

“All 10 blood booths were open and staff worked hard to see patients as quickly as possible.”