"I will now think twice about changing appointment"

About: Hairmyres Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as a carer),

My wife had an appointment for an eye injection at Hairmyres in June at 12 noon. I got a call at 9. 05 am asking if we could come in at 11 am as they had some early slots available we agree to come at 11. We got there before 11 were told to sit and wait till my wife was called at 11. 25 spoke to lady at reception to be told they were having to tea break and they would not be long.

I told the lady that we were asked to come in for 11 and she said it was her who had phoned me and that was the time slot she was given. My problem is why ask someone to come early to help out we agree to this and they then keep you waiting till 11.40 to call my wife, if they have a tea break why ask us to come in after it. I would now think twice about helping by changing appointment time now as only wait about 5 minutes normally.

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Responses

Response from Gwen MacIntyre, Senior Nurse, Senior Nurse for the Care of the Elderly, Hairmyres Hospital

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Dear Moviecafe,

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, it is disappointing to hear that your wife was left waiting for this length of time especially after she had agreed to have her appointment moved forward.

We endeavour to have a smooth and efficient system to avoid unnecessary upset and delays for patients as we all know how frustrating it is to have to attend hospital for treatments and procedures only to wait periods of time before being tended to.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the delays on this occasion and be assured I have spoken to both the department manager and Service Manager to share your disappointment and to raise awareness with all staff when changing appointments that this is done in conjunction with the clinical staff to enable a better experience for patients and relatives accessing our services.

Kind Regards

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Update posted by moviecafe (a carer)

Thanks for response but it is same as the other 3 complaints made about same department made direct to Hairmyres. I don't think the nurse's have any time for carers as if I try and talk to them they just dismiss me as if it has nothing to do with me.

I am now angry that the last time my wife had an injection they never told me a blood vessel burst. I had to phone up the ward to see if it was all right as one side of the white of her eye was all red with blood they told me if it got any worse to bring her in, they never said it might take 4 weeks for it to clear up. I had to cancel the appointment they sent out as it was still partly blood shot. They may have told my wife but as she can't speak properly after her stroke I would not understand what she was saying.

I now wish I had known about this site at the start of my complaints as it would now have a record of how poor some staff treat carers who are only doing the best for their loved ones. Hope the nurses that do dismiss us will read this to see how it makes us feel.

Response from Susan Friel, Chief of Nursing Services, Hairmyres Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire We are preparing to make a change

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Dear Moviecafe

I'm sorry you and your wife have had a number of bad experiences recently within our ophthalmology outpatients department. Over recent years and months we have been trying hard to make changes to improve this service, the most recent was changing the venue of part of the department, so that there was more waiting room space for patients and carers, and a smoother flow through the department. We have also changed how we utilise staff in this area, employing more nurse specialists in an attempt to support the ever growing need for ophthalmology services. This was also partly in response to complaints such as yours. We try to use feedback from patients and carers constructively to improve our services; however after reading about your experience, we obviously still have more work to do, particularly around our communication.

Please be assured, we always share comments, good and bad, from this page with the relevant teams, and as such your complaint will be discussed with them. This is so that we can see when we 'got it right', and also so that we can continue to learn and improve when we didn't. I hope the next time you and your wife come in to the department, you will have a better experience. Please let us know.

Many Thanks

Susan

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Response from Gwen MacIntyre, Senior Nurse, Senior Nurse for the Care of the Elderly, Hairmyres Hospital We have made a change

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Dear moviecafe,

Following on from our previous communication, I can confirm we have had robust conversations with our staff to promote the importance of not only patient care and experience but that of our valuable carers. This has been shared at the department briefs and also at team meetings in Ophthalmology.

We understand how frustrating it can be when approaching our services which although are promoted as person centred for patients, may not always appear so for our patient relatives and main carers.

We are implementing the CAAS (Care Assurance & Accreditation Standards) across the hospital to assist staff to deliver and evidence their changes to provide the best possible care for all who encounter our services and staff.

I hope you find this information update helpful.

Kind Regards

Gwen Macintyre

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Update posted by moviecafe (a carer)

I am glad that changes have been made and that other carers will benefit from the changes but for myself to late as my wife passed away yesterday 26 November peacefully at Monklands hospital.

Response from Susan Friel, Chief of Nursing Services, Hairmyres Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire

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Dear Moviecafe

Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss. I'm sure that you will take comfort from her passing being peaceful, although it is never an easy time.

My deepest sympathy for your loss.

Susan

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