"Referred by Optician"

About: Royal Bolton Hospital

I do not do this lightly as a previous NHS employee I know there are many staff who work extremely hard but was very disappointed with the appointment I attended. I was referred by my optician and waited 3 months for the appointment which wasn't brilliant but accept there are far more needier people than me but during this time I struggled working full time with glasses as advised not to wear my contact lenses until assessed, which did not give full vision . The appointment letter did not provide a consultants name - but think it was some sort of catch up clinic. On arrival the staff seem to expect you to know the department where to go what to do - The place is a rabbit warren. I had been there once in 1996 for a brief visit to the day ward. A general uninterested wave to sit over there seems to be the norm, not one member of staff either introduced who they were or explained what they were doing who I would see, what would happen. They just do their job with as little interaction as possible. Then tell you to sit somewhere else. The doctor I saw was rude - with poor English and basically gave me the impression I was wasting their time. clearly they hadn't bothered to read the referral letter as seemed to have no idea of any of my history. I attended the appointment as my optician thought I needed assessing- I am self employed and have not got time to waste on unnecessary days out to the hospital and never intend to waste valuable NHS resources. The last NHS appointment I had was in 2009 I don't make a habit of attending medical appointments I don't think I need. The doctor told me I had dry eyes from previous corrective laser treatment tell me something I don't know. Put eye drops in to dilate my pupils sent me to sit elsewhere - for what I had no idea - only from the other patients did I know That I was in a queue for a scan. Incidentally the scan person was very pleasant. Returned to the doctor who improved a little at this point - showed me the scan which I couldn't actually see -slung some eye drops to me for the dry eyes as if I had never considered the option myself and told me I had bad astigmatism and might need a contact lens - no explanation of type how it would improve anything ( fortunately as a long term contact lens wearer for 30 years I I have some idea of types of products available to improve vision with astigmatism) sent me on my way with a discharge letter. As for my eye sight I am absolutely none the wiser from the whole process. So it was a complete waste of my time, Thank goodness I have a brilliant optician. If ever my optician refers me again I will not be going to this hospital. I run a small care home and CQC inspectors expect us to be familiar and understand the words polite/respect / dignity/ equality/ diversity- the staff on that department clearly have no idea what those words entail with the exception of the scan lady. A little politeness and explanations go a long way to customer satisfaction and cost nothing

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Response from Royal Bolton Hospital

Firstly we apologise for the delay in responding to this -- we are not sure how it slipped through the net. Secondly we would like to apologise for the poor experience you had. Most of our patients are very happy with the information and service they receive but it clearly wasn't so in your case. We have raised the issues you have talked about with the senior managers of the service.

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