Have Your Say – Healthcare Consultation

Consultation findings support calls to bring back blood tests to Deal Hospital

community consultation led by Natalie Elphicke MP working together with Deal County and District Councillor Trevor Bond, Deal Town Councillor Tony Grist and health campaigners has found residents resoundingly backing calls for blood tests to return to Deal Hospital.
Deal Hospital Bloods Action Team have been campaigning for blood tests to return to Deal Hospital. The report on the findings of the community consultation in which over 3,200 residents took part highlight the strength of community support for this to happen.

The key findings included:

  • 95% thought that the community should have been consulted before changes were made to blood test services
  • 97% want to see blood testing carried out at Deal Hospital
  • 72% of service users said that following the changes the service was not working well for them or their family
  • 97% of service users who were required to travel outside Deal & Walmer for a blood test said this
    was not what they wanted to do
  • many residents reported problems with making bookings and delays following the blood testing
    service changes.
  • many residents reported that problems accessing blood test services had caused them stress and
    meant they were not following medical advice or had experienced delays in receiving or changing
    medication
  • the impact was reported to be particularly affecting those with cancer, diabetes and long-term
    health conditions, as well as older, less mobile and poorer residents, who were less able to travel to
    get blood tests out of the area.

Responding to the findings:

Natalie Elphicke MP said: “The new GP only blood test arrangements are failing older people, less mobile and poorer people in our community. Serious and life impacting illnesses like cancer and diabetes are not being properly catered for locally. It is shocking. Improvements in local healthcare need to be made immediately. The NHS bosses and local GPs need to tell us what they are going to do about it, including putting needed local services back in Deal Hospital.”

Kent County Council and Dover District Council Cllr Trevor Bond said: “The results of the consultation are clear. Residents want to see blood testing sorted out and Deal Hospital used fully. The current service is not working at all for residents and is not what they want. They also want to see other services, such as eye clinics, restored.

“With the Clinical Commissioning Group considering this matter at their May meeting, I hope they will consider carefully what we have been saying as the Deal Hospital Bloods Action Team with the consultation findings and carry out a review so that we can see blood tests locally provided and other services expanded at Deal Hospital too.”

Deal Town Council Cllr Tony Grist said: “Our petition on Deal Hospital secured thousands of signatures which means that the CCG are required to consider the blood tests issue in May. Now we have the consultation evidence to back up the passion in the petition. They must now take action and reverse their decision on Deal Hospital.”

Deal Health campaigner Marsha Horne said: “It was a young cancer patient who broke the news about the closure of blood services at Deal Hospital and his story was my inspiration to begin the fight for the restoration of these blood tests services in the first place. My posts on Social Media about the closure, which was done without any discussion with the community and without notice, generated countless stories from people in our community about how it has affected them, their family or their friends. Those stories made me even more determined to see this situation rectified. I am deeply saddened and angry to see the impact this change of services is having on so many people who desperately need easy-to-access, timely blood testing services. I sincerely hope that we will now see this poorly considered decision reversed and the services reinstated at our much-loved community hospital.”

Deal Health campaigner Anne Matthews said: “It is not simply blood tests. Deal Hospital should be the provider of a full-suite of local diagnostic services in line with the NHS Richards Review. We need to see the blood test services restored to Deal Hospital along with other services so that the hospital is serving the local community fully. That’s not happening at the moment and it’s not good enough.”

community consultation led by Natalie Elphicke MP working together with Deal County and District Councillor Trevor Bond, Deal Town Councillor Tony Grist and health campaigners has found residents resoundingly backing calls for blood tests to return to Deal Hospital.
Deal Hospital Bloods Action Team have been campaigning for blood tests to return to Deal Hospital. The report on the findings of the community consultation in which over 3,200 residents took part highlight the strength of community support for this to happen.

The key findings included:

  • 95% thought that the community should have been consulted before changes were made to blood test services
  • 97% want to see blood testing carried out at Deal Hospital
  • 72% of service users said that following the changes the service was not working well for them or their family
  • 97% of service users who were required to travel outside Deal & Walmer for a blood test said this
    was not what they wanted to do
  • many residents reported problems with making bookings and delays following the blood testing
    service changes.
  • many residents reported that problems accessing blood test services had caused them stress and
    meant they were not following medical advice or had experienced delays in receiving or changing
    medication
  • the impact was reported to be particularly affecting those with cancer, diabetes and long-term
    health conditions, as well as older, less mobile and poorer residents, who were less able to travel to
    get blood tests out of the area.

Responding to the findings:

Natalie Elphicke MP said: “The new GP only blood test arrangements are failing older people, less mobile and poorer people in our community. Serious and life impacting illnesses like cancer and diabetes are not being properly catered for locally. It is shocking. Improvements in local healthcare need to be made immediately. The NHS bosses and local GPs need to tell us what they are going to do about it, including putting needed local services back in Deal Hospital.”

Kent County Council and Dover District Council Cllr Trevor Bond said: “The results of the consultation are clear. Residents want to see blood testing sorted out and Deal Hospital used fully. The current service is not working at all for residents and is not what they want. They also want to see other services, such as eye clinics, restored.

“With the Clinical Commissioning Group considering this matter at their May meeting, I hope they will consider carefully what we have been saying as the Deal Hospital Bloods Action Team with the consultation findings and carry out a review so that we can see blood tests locally provided and other services expanded at Deal Hospital too.”

Deal Town Council Cllr Tony Grist said: “Our petition on Deal Hospital secured thousands of signatures which means that the CCG are required to consider the blood tests issue in May. Now we have the consultation evidence to back up the passion in the petition. They must now take action and reverse their decision on Deal Hospital.”

Deal Health campaigner Marsha Horne said: “It was a young cancer patient who broke the news about the closure of blood services at Deal Hospital and his story was my inspiration to begin the fight for the restoration of these blood tests services in the first place. My posts on Social Media about the closure, which was done without any discussion with the community and without notice, generated countless stories from people in our community about how it has affected them, their family or their friends. Those stories made me even more determined to see this situation rectified. I am deeply saddened and angry to see the impact this change of services is having on so many people who desperately need easy-to-access, timely blood testing services. I sincerely hope that we will now see this poorly considered decision reversed and the services reinstated at our much-loved community hospital.”

Deal Health campaigner Anne Matthews said: “It is not simply blood tests. Deal Hospital should be the provider of a full-suite of local diagnostic services in line with the NHS Richards Review. We need to see the blood test services restored to Deal Hospital along with other services so that the hospital is serving the local community fully. That’s not happening at the moment and it’s not good enough.”

Cllr Tony Grist, Anne Matthews, Natalie Elphicke MP, Marsha Horne & Cllr Trevor Bond

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The Consultation is now closed

Thank you to everyone who has completed it online or sent back a form. They are all being collated and entered to provide the final results. Further details of these results will be published soon.

Have Your Say – Healthcare Consultation

Cllr Tony Grist, Anne Matthews, Natalie Elphicke MP, Marsha Horne & Cllr Trevor Bond

At the end of the October last year, blood test (phlebotomy) services which had been provided at Deal Hospital were transferred to GP surgeries. This happened without a public consultation and the changes have caused considerable upset and concern.  

I am therefore carrying out a public consultation in order to better understand how the change in service is working, as well as providing an opportunity for feedback on healthcare provision being provided locally.

I would like to place on record my particular thanks to Deal’s local health campaigners Marsha Horne and Anne Matthews together with town, district and county councillors of all political parties, in particular Cllrs Trevor Bond and Tony Grist, who have been so energetic in raising the concerns of our community and working to have the blood test services reinstated at Deal Hospital.

The consultation is being launched on Friday 25th February 2022 at 6:15pm at the entrance to Deal Pier. It is a Candlelight Vigil and residents wanting to join in the Vigil should bring their own torch or phone to light up.

Please do come and show your support for our community hospital and the services provided there.

Our healthcare professionals do a wonderful job. It is important that they have the support from all of us to deliver the care that is wanted and needed for our area and that residents have the opportunity to have their say about local healthcare. 

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