Friends Blood Taking Unit celebrates 1st birthday

Friends Blood Taking Unit, Hospital of St Cross in RugbyStaff working at the Friends Blood Taking Unit at the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby are celebrating the first anniversary of the department.

Since the £400,000 unit opened on December 14, 2015, an incredible 91,276 outpatients have been bled.

Staff are now also able to provide a more efficient service to their patients. 77.5% of patients are now bled within 15 minutes of checking in at the unit, compared to 53% in October/November 2015.

The redevelopment of the blood-taking unit was a big step forward for patients and the phlebotomy staff who work in it, and shows the Hospital of St Cross leading the way in improving phlebotomy care.

With the improved environment, extra capacity and new staff recruited to join the team, patients have been benefitting from an improved experience.

Parents of nervous young visitors have also praised the toys and sensory equipment available to distract them while they have blood taken.

The Friends of St Cross raised £130,000 to help build the unit, which is next to the hospital’s Chapel.

The unit was designed with input from Rugby Disability Forum, to create a modern facility unique to St Cross which also meets high clinical standards.

Michelle Giles, Senior Phlebotomist at the unit said: “We’ve been delighted with the success of the Friends Blood Taking Unit, and I can’t believe it’s been open a whole year.

“We’ve had such lovely comments from patients, especially about the sensory equipment funded by the Friends for nervous children. We have exciting plans to improve the service even more over the next year, including offering the opportunity to book appointments in advance.

“I’d like to once again thank the Friends of St Cross and their supporters, who made this new unit possible.”

Willy Goldschmidt, Chairman of the Friends of St Cross said: "The Friends were thrilled and humbled by the support we received from the people of Rugby for the Diamond Jubilee Appeal which funded our £130,000 contribution to the project to refurbish and re-equip the Blood Taking Unit.

“This enabled us to continue making other donations which made a difference to the patient experience including the provision of a vein viewer which helps the phlebotomists detect difficult to locate veins in patients who have small veins for a variety of clinical reasons. The improvement in the service is all the more remarkable when you learn that the team has bled over 14,000 more patients than in the previous year. We look forward to helping with other projects which extend the services provided at the Hospital of St Cross."

Some vital statistics about the unit:

  • 91,276 outpatients bled since the unit opened
  • 77.5% of patients bled within 15 minutes of checking in at the unit
  • Almost all patients bled within 30 minutes of checking in
  • £400,000 – total cost of redeveloping the unit
  • £130,000 – amount donated by the Friends of St Cross for refurbishment and equipment

Some comments received praising the unit:

  • “Excellent efficient service”
  • “You were all lovely and my daughter thinks you are great!”
  • “I just wanted to feedback at how great the new location is. It's nice and vibrant, refreshing and less gloomy like the old place. The radio in the background is also far more pleasant”
  • “Fantastic service for children the new room, toys and large chair for children were brilliant the staff were skilled and very very kind”