"Ophthalmology waiting times too long and lack of..."

About: Leighton Hospital

Having arrived 10 mins before my son's appt in ophthalmology, I then spent 30 minutes driving around the car parks trying to find a parking space. This is just not acceptable by anyone's standards. I appreciate that visiting times start at 2.00 and his appointment was 2.10, however, this must be a daily issue. Finally booking in at 2.30 for his appt I was relieved that the receptionist didn't mention the time - I wouldn't have taken kindly to this! Last time my husband brought him he arrived 10 minutes early and was 'told off' for doing so - to which he replied that he managed to get a parking space straight away! You can't win. Then we had to wait until 3.15 to be seen, at which point the doctor spoke poor English and struggled to understand me or why I was bringing my son in. My son had been an inpatient and this was an outpatient appt to check he was now okay - which he is. It was difficult to explain the situation, but he checked my son over and said he'd discharge him. What a waste of nearly 1½ hours for a 2 minute appointment. To save us time and you money, perhaps as parents we could be advised to take him either to his GP or back to the ward if his condition deteriorated rather than having us take up clinic time and space? I'm afraid that I left Leighton that day wishing I hadn't taken him, with the stress of the parking and taking him out of school to attend. Not one of the best Leighton experiences I've had I'm afraid.

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Response from Leighton Hospital

I am sorry to hear of the parking difficulties you experienced during your recent visit to Leighton Hospital. The Trust has introduced specific procedures around peak times to assist visitors and patients in parking their vehicles and accessing the services they require. One of these procedures is an overflow parking procedure. This has helped improve traffic flow and the availability of bays. We also have intercoms installed on each of our pay on foot car park barriers. Each barrier intercom is linked in to the security control room. A security officer would be more than willing to find a space for you to park. We also communicate a car parking information sheet to our patients prior to their appointment date which details essential ‘need to know’ items relating to our parking facilities. If you have specific concerns relating to your future visits to the site then please contact me on 01270 273374 James Whittall Green Travel / Car Parks Development Co-ordinator We are very grateful that you have taken the time and trouble to contact us regarding your recent visit to the Eye Care Centre. We are sorry that you experienced a significant delay in the department before seeing the doctor. There can be a delay in any clinic if some consultations take longer than the allotted time and this has a knock on effect to other patients. This is continually monitored and where we can, seek support from other clinic doctors to assist on the day to reduce the waiting time. If your son has been a recent inpatient the consultant in charge of his care will have requested a follow up appointment. We appreciate that you felt this was a waste of time and could have attended your GP. If your son had required a more detailed examination the equipment required or skill would not be available at a GP practice this would cause an unnecessary referral back to the Ophthalmologist. We apologise the doctor you saw spoke poor English and was difficult to understand. We will ensure that your feedback is given to the relevant teams. Matron Helen Nutkins

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