"Finally had my review appointment ....20 months..."

About: The Great Western Hospital

After being referred to GWH by my optometrist in late 2011 I had an appointment with a doctor who seemed to be caring and was very pleasant. I was due for a review at the ophthalmology dept in Dec 2012 and like many people as I understand from local media articles I was not contacted due to the complete meltdown of the service. I believe they have not been able to take new referrals since January 2014 and have had somewhere between 4000 and 6000 patients like myself in the system already waiting for follow up that are now being processed. Not once during all this time was I contacted to explain what was happening until in I received a letter in July this year some 19 months overdue asking me to attend an appointment in August. When I arrived for my appointment I checked in at the reception desk where the lady was pleasant and welcoming, and after a short wait of about 10 minutes after my appointment time I was take through for a various tests including fields test, then I waited about an hour to see who I thought was going to be the original doctor but was seen by a different doctor. Again no apology or explanation was forthcoming why the delay. The doctor sadly did not seem as caring or interested in me as an individual as the original doctor had been; however I assume he was efficient in what he did. Again no comment on the delay either on the day or since Dec 2012, indeed when I mentioned the fact I should have been seen 20 months ago his reaction was oh no that's not right but then checked my notes and agreed it was ....unbelievably at this stage no apology offered still. He said he was discharging me. After leaving I had to have a picture taken of my eye/ optic nerve; the two assistants seemed to be struggling with the machine and kept discussing whether they thought the image/readings they had taken would do/ be ok. They did not instill me with confidence and faith whatsoever. Finally 2 hours after arriving for my 2 appointments, one booked on the hour and one for 30 minutes later I was glad to leave and glad I had been discharged so no need to go through this ordeal again. What a shambles.

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