"Excellent front-line staff, but minimal support..."

About: Eastbourne District General Hospital

I was advised to seek an 'urgent' check for possible glaucoma. I just managed to get to the preliminary appointment, but due to there being no departmental support staff (not just in the Eye Clinic - all out-patients departments have been denuded) and the inability of departments to themselves arrange appointments, I missed the main appointment. Two months later I did see the Consultant, and was again told to await an appointment for treatment. As my eyes could have developed full glaucoma at any time, this was hardly reassuring!

By sheer luck I got through to the Consultant's secretary, and was offered a cancellation, which I hastily took before they returned the slot to the main Reception/Appointments.

The laser operation was very skilfully performed, by a Doctor on their own with no help from any other staff; I'm sure that a person of that ability has better things to do than conduct patients to the right room, prepare the equipment and clean up after them-self!

The Ward Sister who had earlier walked my papers into the out-of-bounds Appointments team must also have had better things to do with their experience and skills than wander corridors dealing with what ought to be routine paperwork, done by co-located admin support staff. Thus far I've seen four nurses, a consultant, two doctors and a sister, and all have been very helpful - or as helpful as they can be working in the conditions imposed upon them. Whoever decided to dismiss the department non-medical staff should be dismissed and replaced by such people, as he/she clearly didn't merit a managerial salary. My impending loss of vision was saved, but no thanks to the NHS "Trust" which runs EDGH.

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Response from Eastbourne District General Hospital

Thank you for your posting on NHS choices about your care with Ophthalmology Services at Eastbourne DGH.

We're pleased to hear that your treatment was successful and that you found the front line staff excellent and helpful. Please be assured, we will share this with the staff concerned.

We're dissapointed that you felt there was a lack of an administrative support structure, and have forwarded your observations to the Head of Clinical Administration, who would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you in more detail.

Please be assured we value all comments and feedback from patients, as it provides us with a good insight into the things we do well and things we could do better.

If you would like to make contact with the Head of Clinical Administration, you can do so by calling the Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 01323 435886. They will be happy to arrange this for you. Alternatively, you may prefer to email your contact details to them at esh-tr.PALSE@nhs.net.

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.