"Unnecessary step?"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute) / Ophthalmology

(as the patient),

I attended for a regular glaucoma check. The clinic is very busy but well run and I have every confidence in the service. However, before seeing the doctor I always have a totally basic sight test with an HCA - each eye reading the standard distance chart. This takes <1 min. This seems like a completely unnecessary step which could slow the flow - I have already had two much more sophisticated tests with the optometrist and the chart is in the doctors room. Why is there an extra step? I'm not complaining or devaluing the contribution of HCAs but does it really add any value doing it separately?
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Response from Northampton General Hospital (Acute)

Thank you for comments about our services. It is necessary for you to have the sight test because it compares the sight on this visit with the previous visit, and if further tests such as pressure checks are required then these would be carried out before your consultation with the doctor, so although this seems to be a simple test, it is one that potentially identifies a need for other tests. The tests help us identify the level of peripheral vision and also if there is any underlying disease. The value that the test with our HCAs adds is the potential identification of further test(s) required in order not to slow the flow down. We hope this answers your question, but if you would like any further information, please let us know PALS@Ngh.nhs.uk.