"Awful ophthalmology department"

About: Watford General Hospital

My 7 year old son who has ASD and global developmental delay had an appointment at 9 o'clock with the doctor on the 7th March 2015. I explained on arrival about his difficulties with strange environments, strangers and waiting. I was told abruptly that he could wait in the waiting room with everyone else. Two other patients were seen. We waited for his turn, I tried to reassure him that he would be soon. Approximately 15 minutes after the last patient had left, I approached the nurse to ask why my son would be seen and was told that he would be seen next. I asked again after another 10 minutes and was again told as soon as the doctor was available. They clearly were not with a patient and then it transpired that they were on the phone. My son was now extremely distressed. He was eventually seen by the doctor at 9.50, 50 minutes late and approximately 30 minutes after the previous patient had left. This is not good enough. We received no explanation and no apology. My son has another appointment with the doctor next week. I have been trying for 3 weeks to find out if he will need eye drops prior to his appointment. I have left numerous messages and no one has returned my calls or answered my queries. Finally today the phone was answered by a person who at a previous appointment has been helpful and understanding but today they were not. They said that they would put in drops if he needed them at the appointment and I explained, through their constant interruptions, that he would be hysterical if strangers tried to put the drops in his eyes, wait for them to take effect and then would not be able to cooperate during an eye examination, and that the eye drops would need to be put in at home. Apparently they would not be able to get the file to see if he would need these drops as they are in a different building and we would have to wait for his appointment. This was not possible at all. Although by the end of the call they said they would ask someone else to have a look. Terrible. No help or care at all.

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Responses

Response from Watford General Hospital

We are sorry to learn that your experience of our hospital was not as expected.

If you would like us to investigate this matter further on your behalf, please contact our colleagues in the Complaints Department on 01923 217866.

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