I and other local Deal health campaigners met with local health chiefs in the next stage of their campaign to secure a Blood Testing Unit back at Deal Hospital.
The blood testing unit was closed last year, without community consultation. There has been a huge backlash and vigorous local campaign, including a vigil, petition and consultation survey across the whole local area. Following the submission of the petition and consultation, the NHS area health board agreed to meet with the health action team, which consists of myself, Cllr Trevor Bond, Cllr Tony Grist, Marsha Horne, and Anne Matthews
A proposal has been presented to the health chiefs to support a pilot blood testing service at Deal Hospital, which will provide additional choice to patients and lower waiting times for all, as well as support speedier diagnostics coming out of the COVID pandemic.
A lengthy meeting held in Deal concluded with health chiefs agreeing to review the pilot proposal and respond to the health campaigners
The NHS area chief executive, Paul Bentley, agreed to the meeting and listened carefully to the concerns raised about community provision of blood tests. However, it is vital that action is taken by health chiefs to improve access and availability of blood testing services for Deal and Walmer. When the service was changed the health chiefs gave assurances that residents would be able to get blood tests done locally when needed. That isn’t happening. 97% of respondents to the survey said they wanted blood tests available at both GPs and at Deal Hospital. That is where we need to get to.