"Cancellation of appointments by Crosshouse Hospital Ophthalmology Department"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as the patient),

I am in my seventies and travel to this hospital by public transport from an outlying district, taking about one and a half hours each way with limited buses.

I keep requesting same day double appointments for visual fields and review clinic in the middle of the day to alleviate some of my problems but on more than one occasion one of my appointments has been cancelled to a time that is unsuitable and I cannot get another appointment for a few months later. This means that I can travel for three hours for a five minute visual field test.

I understand this is a busy clinic but why should my appointments be cancelled so often? I suffer from glaucoma and am grateful that a doctor keeps a check on me. It makes me feel, however, that my condition is less important than others and I am the one who can wait.

Can a note be put in my file regarding appointment times?

I do not like to complain but feel that hospital appointments are made with the assumption that patients arrive by car and not by their place of residence.

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Geogold,

How frustrating for you. We do want to have a patient centred service and this falls short for you. Of course there will always be a time when something puts a spanner in the works but is there any solution to this?

I will ask the service manager to look into it to find out about the changes of appointments and why you do not get appointments in the middle of the day which makes sense.

I am sure there is no intention to make you feel that you are less important than others and unfortunately, rescheduled appointments probably happen more often than we would like due to unforeseen circumstances.

Another thought, is there any local transport that could be arranged for you to attend your appointments? I also wonder if there is any possibility to have your eye test nearer to home. If you would like to email me details (your name, date of birth and address) we will look into your situation and we will post again as soon as possible. As you know I can promise only to ask the questions.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention,

Kind regards,

Eunice (eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk)

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Geogold

We are extremely sorry to hear of your concerns and we understand that travelling for such a long time for short separate appointments is very frustrating for you. If you would like to make contact with us directly, we will endeavour to schedule more convenient appointments. The difficulty we have is that so many of our clinics are over-booked with unmanageable numbers and we often have to reduce the clinics at quite short notice because it would be impossible for the number of patients booked on to a clinic to be seen within the time-span of the clinic.

Currently, the managers and doctors are working together to try to find a better way of managing the numbers of patients who have their appointment re-scheduled due to over-booked clinics. Please be assured that all our patients are important to us and we try to accommodate specific requests but sometimes there is just not the capacity within each clinic to meet all the demand.

When you next attend the clinic, you may wish to ask the doctor if your eyes could be safely monitored by your optician at a location nearer to your home with the understanding that if there was any concern in the future, you could be referred back to the hospital.

The manager of the ophthalmic service is Janet Shankland and she is happy to be contacted on 01292 610555 ext 14035 to assist with any aspect of your ophthalmic care.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know of your concern.

Regards

Janet

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