"No communication made about decision"

About: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as a relative),

Patient has only one working eye. Diagnosed by optician as in imminent danger of an attack of acute "Closed Angle Glaucoma" in remaining eye. Referred to N & N Ophthalmology dept.

On being informed by patient of situation booking clerk said that no appointment would be even offered before the next year (this being early October). Clerk did not check with medical staff whether this was an urgent situation, so took a clinical decision on their unqualified self.

Patient consulted a consultant ophthalmologist privately who confirmed the danger to the remaining functioning eye and did an immediate 10-minute laser irridotomy in accordance with approved international protocol to prevent an impending attack.

It should be said that failure to treat this in less than 4 or 5 hours after the start of an attack results in loss of vision. Imagine if the attack occurred on a Saturday evening, the chances of getting through the A & E queue to an ophthalmologist in time are negligible.

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Response from Janice Bradfield, Senior Communications and Membership Manager, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to hear about your experience and will raise this issue with our colleagues in ophthalmology. If you would like to speak to us in more detail about what happened, please get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on pals@nnuh.nhs.uk

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