One of the objectives of the NHS reforms is to improve customer focus within the health service. In a study to assess the quality of customer service provided by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Blood Transfusion Service a 19 item questionnaire survey of the main clinical users of the service was performed to ascertain their satisfaction, measured on a 5 point anchored scale, with important aspects of the service, including medical consultation, diagnostic services, blood and blood components or products and their delivery, and general satisfaction with the service. Of 122 clinicians in medical and surgical disciplines in five hospitals in Edinburgh, 72 (59%) replied. Fourteen (22%) indicated dissatisfaction with any aspect of the medical consultation service, owing to inadequate follow up of clinical contacts and unsatisfactory routing of incoming calls. Diagnostic services were criticised for the presentation, communication, and interpretation of results. The restricted availability of whole blood, the necessity to order platelets and plasma through the duty blood transfusion service doctor, and the use of a group and screen policy, attracted criticism from a small number of clinicians. Ten of 68 respondents expressed dissatisfaction with delivery of blood and components to the wards and theatres. The findings indicate that the clinicians served by this blood transfusion service are largely satisfied with the service. Changes are being implemented to improve reporting of laboratory results and measures taken to improve liaison with clinicians.
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