"Changes in emergency eye treatment"

About: Royal Alexandra Hospital / Ear, Nose & Throat

(as the patient),

I have had an eye problem for some years now and when my eyes gets bad I phone the eye clinic and they tell me to go through the Emergency Dept to register then come to the eye clinic where I have been seen no problem. the treatment has been excellent at all times.

I was informed recently when had yet more treatment that the system is changing in April and we then can no longer go through Emergency Dept to be seen that day for the eye clinic. It seems we then have to get an appointment with our own optician so he can see us then he has to write to the clinic for us to be seen. This delay will cause me no end of pain and suffering and is unacceptable to me and a few others I have spoken to about this change.

I want to know is there a rule that when we need treatment the same day like me can we go to the eye clinic without trying to see the optician first.

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear jressica,

Thank you for getting in touch to highlight the changes to access to the eye clinic. While I do not have all of the details around this change available to me at the moment, I wanted to acknowledge your post and let you know that I have already asked for more information on this from the Manager of the Ophthalmology Service.

I hope to be able to provide you with a more detailed response very soon. In the meantime, if you have any more comments, please let me know either through this site, or directly on lorna.gray@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

Kind Regards,


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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear jressica,

Thank you for getting in touch regarding Eye Casualty Services at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and for giving us feedback on the positive experience that you have had.

Unfortunately other patients have had a different experience and have reported long waits whilst in the clinic. This is very often caused by competing pressures between scheduled appointments and unscheduled emergency patients. In response to this feedback, a new short notice appointment system is being introduced at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock.

Optometrists have been designated as the first port of call for patients with eye problems since 2006. Building on this, a short notice hospital appointment service with referrals from community optometry was introduced in the Glasgow area in 2011. This system provided a reduction in casualty waiting times and quicker access to treatment within Glasgow and should offer benefits to patients in the Clyde area.

Optometrists in Scotland are trained and equipped to diagnose a large number of eye problems and many are now able to prescribe treatments for common eye conditions.

Community Optometry is ideally placed to deliver prompt, effective solutions for most eye problems and it has been shown that less than one in five eye problems require referral to the Hospital Eye Service. In seeking treatments in the community, many patients will avoid the need to travel to a hospital which can be a difficult for patients not living near one.

Of course, any patient with an eye injury that requires immediate attention should attend the nearest accident and emergency department. In addition, individual arrangements can be made for those existing eye patients with conditions that are prone to acute flare-ups requiring immediate hospital attention, to contact their Consultant’s secretary for an appointment rather than attend an Optometrist.

Best Wishes,

Jim Bretherton,

Clinical Services Manager,


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Update posted by jressica (the patient)

Hello Jim, Thank you for getting back to me on this. Since I put this on here I have spoken to my consultant in the eye clinic and my consultant told me when my eyes are bad again I have to phone the clinic and tell them my consultant said I was to come straight up to the clinic and not go to the optician.

I have Ocular Rosacea and am diabetic and when I have a flare up it pain is bad and I can hardly see a thing.I need to be seen that day.I have attended this eye clinic for years and I was never told once that this is what was wrong with my eyes, until the new consultant told me not long ago.

I cannot believe that people have been left waiting as I have not once experienced a problem. It is my opinion some people do not appreciate how busy this clinic is and how good all the staff are. It is the best clinic in the hospital and should be commended on what they do

Kind Regards,