"Visit to emergency eye care department"

About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

I was sent to the emergency eye care department from my opticians after I got blurred vision in one eye after putting a contact lens in and they could not find anything wrong with it. I went to the emergency eye care and waited for a long period of time and then repeated all tests I had done at the opticians. They finally decided to put drops in my eye to see behind it. After another long wait I was called through by a member of staff who at first I thought was a secretary. They did some other tests and then looked at the back of my eye. They then told me the cells at the back had died but they had seen a pulse and not sure what this meant! The 'doctor' then went to ask a more senior colleague about the pulse. I was then told the pulse was a good thing, I asked why to which I got the response oh I don't know why I didn't ask that and my colleague has left for the day now! I then said well what does all this mean and got the response of well you won't see properly again from that eye. They then said it was possibly caused by low blood pressure but then my blood pressure was not even checked. I then got sent away. I came out to find the department all locked up and just my family waiting. I was very upset and worried that I had just been told I had lost my sight and not know why it happened and as if nobody in the eye department had really cared. I then ended up going to an optician who agreed with me that it was not good enough to just send me away like that so they then wrote a letter to my GP to ensure I got into a consultant asap. Waiting for my consultant appointment my sight actually came back and on seeing the consultant he could see nothing wrong at all with my eye, I explained my problems started when I was putting a contact lens in and they felt it was linked to that. The consultant certainly did not see any dead cells at the back of my eye. I have no issues with the consultant and so relieved my sight has returned but I am very unhappy at the way I was originally treated. The person I saw should be better trained and not treat patients the way they did by sending me away with no explanation or information.

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Response from Darlington Memorial Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback on your recent visit to Darlington Memorial Hospital and in particular the emergency eye department. I am very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your experience on this occasion and we will make sure your feedback is passed to the Sister and Service manager for the department to discuss with the staff on your behalf. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is patient.experience@cddft.nhs.uk If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Patient Experience Team County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 0800 7835774

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