"Delays with eye appointment"

About: Manchester Royal Eye Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public. We have their details and will forward any comments to them. They said…

I have been attending MRI Eye departments for some time. At the end of May it was agreed that my eye condition would be reviewed at the end of an 8 to 10 week period. At this time a decision would be made as to treatment. This was to be a period of observation to monitor the condition. With this timescale being given I expected to receive an appointment for the beginning of August 2015. When I had not received an appointment by mid-August I contacted the hospital, and was told that an appointment was ready to send out to me. The appointment arrived but I would not be seen until late September 2015. This is about 16/17 weeks from the appointment in May. I have now had to contact them again and after several telephone conversations I have managed to get a ‘cancellation’ for an appointment at the end of August, although this is better it is still about 3/4 weeks longer than agreed by the doctor, who was looking after my condition.

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Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Ms H Mercer, Assistant divisional manager, was very sorry to hear that you have had such difficulties in trying to get an appointment at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Due to demand for our services, there are unfortunately times when our patients have to wait longer than we would ideally like. To meet this increasing demand, we have recently opened an additional ophthalmic facility at the new Altrincham hospital that has increased our clinic capacity significantly. We are also currently in the process of providing patients who are overdue their appointment with a consultant, in some ophthalmic specialties, with an interim monitoring appointment with a clinical imaging technician who can take images of a patients eye and the results can be reviewed by one of our consultants prior to the patients next appointment. This will ensure more regular monitoring of patients.

I hope this reassures you that we are investing heavily in expanding our ophthalmic services to reduce waiting times and provide a better experience for our patients. If you have any further comments or concerns you would like to share with us, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be able to assist you in contacting the relevant department on your behalf. PALS can be contacted via telephone on 0161 276 8686 or via email: pals@cmft.nhs.uk

The Patient Experience Team

Central Manchester University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust

Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry for the delay in responding to your comments.

We are also sorry to hear that you did not receive an appointment within the timeframe you discussed with your doctor. Unfortunately, this delay is due to our current demand for appointments outweighing our capacity which doesn’t always allow us to offer appointments in the timeframes we would like.

We are taking measures to help decrease waiting times for our patients by introducing new clinics in different sites. We have now launched extra clinics in both Altrincham and Trafford which we hope will help us provide care to our patients in a timelier manner by helping to reduce the demand on our central site.

If you continue to experience delays with your appointments, we ask that you to get in touch with us and let us know about your concerns. You can contact the Clerical Team on 0161 276 5533 who can provide you updates on scheduling and appointments. If you still then continue to experience delays, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk and we will look into this in more detail with your specific information.

Thanks again for your feedback and please do to get in touch directly if you have any further concerns.