"Ophthalmology pre-op assessment - lack of care"

About: Queen Alexandra Hospital

My husband has multiple health problems; he is disabled, walks with a stick and has severe COPD as well as a cataract in one eye and an inoperable condition in the other.

He was called today to a pre-op assessment for a Cataract Operation two days from now.

I could not drive him (he is very sight impaired) so I arranged Patient Transport thinking he would be able to manage navigating the Eye Clinic.

At the Assessment he was told he would have to have a General Anaesthetic plus another pre-op assessment based on tests - this was never made clear to us and my husband was absolutely unprepared for this.

The Assessment Nurse handed my husband forms for a chest Xray and ECG without even looking up at him and told him his scheduled operation is cancelled.

My husband then had to find the correct departments without being able to see signs and struggling for breath.

Once he arrived at Xray/Scanning all the staff were thankfully really concerned about him and said they would arrange a porter after his scans to take them back down to the Eye clinic.

Why was he called to this kind of pre-op if it was known he would need a General Anaesthetic Assessment? Why has this not been discussed with us (the Assessment Nurse could not/would not answer why he can't have a local).

Why didn't the Assessment nurse offer a porter to get him over to the Xray Dept. - some distance for someone struggling to both see, breathe and walk?

My husband is so upset and distressed to be left to struggle in this way.

We feel this could all have been avoided with some communication and a bit of compassion.

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Responses

Response from Debra Johns, Patient Experience Officer, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

I am so sorry to hear of your husband's experience. Please be assured that your comments will be shared with the Ophthalmology team.

We would really appreciate the opportunity to look into this further and get someone to contact you to discuss your concerns, but can only do so if you are willing to provide us with details. If you would like us to do so, please could you contact me on 023 92286000 Ext. 3473 so that I can obtain further details and forwarded to the appropriate team.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish your husband well with his surgery.

Kind regards.

Debbie

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