"Multiple appointments for eye condition"

About: Pilgrim Hospital

Over the last six months or so I have visited this hospital and probablly a dozen occasions, taking my father-in-law for cataract treatment. On every single instance, irrespective of the time of day, his appointment has been late - on one occasion they had even forgotten he was coming and said we were wrong, until we produced the letter they had sent ! We then had to wait for the consultant to come back from dinner.

They have run so late that every single time we have had to pay the car parking charge for 1-3 hours even when it was only a twenty-minute appointment.

We also repeatedly have appointments made for Boston in spite of Grantham being much closer and capable of fulfilling the requirements most of the time, even when on the instructions of the consultant we specifically request Grantham.

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Responses

Response from Sharon Kidd, Patient Experience and Engagement Manager, Patient Experience, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Sharon Kidd

Dear Mr Hepworth,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments regarding your visits to Pilgrim Hospital with your father-in-law.

I can only apologise that his outpatient appointments have been delayed and, as a result, your stay at the hospital extended beyond the 1 hour parking period.

In certain circumstances staff in the department can validate car parking tickets for patients where we have severely inconvenienced the patient.

I have spoken to the Outpatient Matron and she has apologised that this did not happen for you. She will be reminding staff about validating tickets where a severe delay has been caused by us. Unfortunately we are not able to do this retrospectively.

With regard to appointments, these will normally be arranged based on the availability of clinical staff and whether the appointment is time-critical. If, for example, your father-in-law’s treatment needs to be carried out within a certain time period, he will be offered an appointment within that time period at whichever of the Trust’s sites have available appointments at that time.

You are, of course, free to contact the Trust and ask for an alternative appointment, but you will need to understand that you may have to wait longer for an appointment at a different site to the one which has been offered.

Should you wish to consider this in the future, you should contact the Trust’s PALS team on 01205 446243, or by e-mail at pals@ulh.nhs.uk on receipt of the appointment letter, and they will liaise with the necessary teams to attempt to find an alternative appointment for your father-in-law.

Regards

Sharon Kidd, Patient Experience Manager

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