"Communication and information difficulties"

About: Essex County Hospital

I have just visited the Ophthalmology Clinic for a follow-up to my Retinal Tear surgery. I have no complaints about the bookings procedure - in fact the staff bent over backwards to be helpful - nor with the Reception, who were clear and informative. The gentleman who photographed my eye was also clear and informative and the specialist who had performed the treatment and this follow-up check was excellent: clear, concise, honest etc. I do share the concerns of some earler entries in this space, especially about the timings and the apparent pressure on one member of staff. I was seen nearly four hours after my appointment time! This is as nothing, however, by comparison with the problems caused by the person who administered my initial sight test. She did not communicate the reasons for what we were doing, nor did she indicate clearly how I should approach the test. This individual was unable to confirm clearly how much of the chart I should be reading, when I should start or stop and when I had finished. As a consequence, when I saw the specialist, he said the readings indicated eye deterioration which had clearly not occurred, which meant that not only had his colleague failed to clearly tell me what to do but she had incorrectly noted down the results (I read every letter clearly, correctly and promptly, but not according to her notes!!) This is highly unsatisfactory, as, if I and the specialist had not been alert an entirely false diagnosis could easily have been made. In fact, in spite of reassurance at the time, I am still left vaguely wondering whether my patient experience has been entirely clinically secure.

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Response from Essex County Hospital

Many thanks for your comments and taking the time to submit them. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers.

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