"Waiting issues"

About: Leighton Hospital

Ophthalmology is a busy clinic, but getting to standing room in the waiting room, and the length of time that it takes to be seen on a consistent basis in this clinic is unacceptable and hasn't changed since two years ago when I last came to this clinic.

The average age of the patients in this clinic is generally elderly and they are more likely to need to sit down and less able to wait for long periods.

I was in clinic yesterday for two hours, and today ended up waiting for over an hour due to a miscommunication between staff over where I should have been waiting.

Whilst staff were very apologetic and saw me quickly when they realised the error, I was also told I should have brought it to their attention as if I should have known I was in the wrong place or understood the system as the patient.

This is clearly a department in need of either a review of the appointment system (which I believe was done a while ago looking at this and the waiting areas) again, or in need of more staff to cope with the high patient numbers.

The staff do a great job and it feels like they need more support from the system to enable them to do it better.

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Response from Leighton Hospital

Thank you for your feedback.

I apologise for any dissatisfaction you have experienced with our service.

We recognize that, historically, we have had clinic capacity issues.

As a result of this, we have had increased investment which we have used over the last year to recruit additional medical and support staff to increase our clinic capacity to support us in providing a high quality service, part of which includes seeing patients in a timely manner.

The service has also had difficulty in accommodating all the patients under our care. We are working hard to remedy this with additional investment in an extension to the department planned for early next year to create extra clinic rooms. As an interim measure, we do use the waiting areas in ENT and Audiology to accommodate patients. I hope in future that you will find an improvement in our appointments system. Helen Nutkins, Matron

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