"Why are patients called in so early for procedures that always happen in the afternoon?"

About: Moorfields Eye Hospital (City Road) / Ophthalmology

(as a relative),

My mother has had several day 'procedures' at Moorfields and in every case was asked to attend at 9am ish. Without exception she was kept waiting until late afternoon. During this time she is frightened to leave the waiting room to get a drink of water or go to the toilet in case she is called.

She is in her 80's and I would say the majority of patients waiting are elderly and this long wait is distressing for them. Surely things could be arranged to 'stagger' waiting times, i.e. if she is not being operated on until late afternoon ask her to come in around lunchtime or after.

She is due a procedure today and was at the hospital at 9.30am - she has still not been operated on at 12.49pm so it looks like it will be the usual late afternoon slot for her.

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Responses

Response from Moorfields Eye Hospital (City Road)

I'm sorry to hear about this and will pass this information on to our surgical team. All patients are asked to come in towards the start of the morning or afternoon lists so that the doctor performing their procedure can speak to them before the list begins. Once the list begins, doctors are generally not able to leave the operating theatre. Sometimes, too, the order of the list needs to be re-arranged to accommodate emergencies, for example. It does, however, seem strange that your mother is routinely called in for what appears to the morning list, but is not then seen until late afternoon. In addition, the nurse in charge of the area where patients wait should be able to provide updates about what's going on - and should certainly be able to arrange for your mother to go to the bathroom and fetch water. The best way for us to investigate the particular circumstances around what's happened to your mother is for you to make a formal complaint via our patient advice and liaison service (PALS). They will then be able to look into the issue in more detail, provide you with proper feedback, and ensure that action is taken as possible to improve systems for patients in future. You can contact the PALS team by email to pals@moorfields.nhs.uk.

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