"Glaucoma and cataracts"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as the patient),

I attended my optician 3 years ago, she had noticed glaucoma in both eyes as well as cataracts and as a result referred me to Ayrshire & Arran HB.

I received an appointment 3 months later. I attended the appointment at 1-30 pm however after waiting until 4-45pm without seeing a doctor I left (im 83 and have had rheumatoid arthritis since aged 58, I felt very weary and uncomfortable as I hadn't thought the need to bring painkillers to my appointment).

I was reappointed and this time after 3 hrs I saw the doctor who explained virtually nothing. He gave me drops and reappointed me for 6 months later.

I attended again and waited 41/2hrs before leaving. After reappointing I attended, waited usual time and was asked whether a cataract operation would suit me to which I agreed.

June of 2014 I attended for my appointment at 9am. At 4-45pm with no sign of the doctor I left as again was extremely weary and sore.

I was reappointed and an apology given for previous appointment when the operation hadn't been carried out. I attended and had the operation after which I have only limited vision to the sides with a dark wide line in my straight ahead vision.

My next appointment was two months after the operation where I told the doctor of my problem with the eye operated on. I was told to  keep taking the eye drops, I assumed pressure was still high in both eyes. The doctor never said anything about my concerns other than we'll see you shortly.

One full year I attended an appointment, another doctor explained pressure was still high and my eyesight was deteriorating fast with one optical nerve having only 20% of it's full ability. I knew this as I was having difficulty reading or doing any tasks without making a mess. I became depressed and a burden on my family.

At this stage my son complained officially about my treatment. When the reply came back I was very shocked to read that my GP had been advised that my cataract operation was a success.

I have since been referred to a glaucoma specialist as a result of my complaint and for the first time in 3 years. Once again I waited 5 hours for this at Crosshouse Hospital for an appointment, I couldn't wait any longer. On reappointment the doctor explained I had more scarring than is acceptable on the operated eye and I should not have had a gap period of one full year between appointments considering the deterioration of my eyes, which they knew about, due to glaucoma. I now after 3 years have the 'correct' eye drop which I'll have to take for life, or rather have someone give me. I can't do any crosswords, I barely see the tv with the bad eye closed and when in the far being taken out I feel sick as I cannot focus on outside. I feel a burden on my family where before I was relatively independent.

I am a Royal Marine and ex special forces, I served my country for 23 years in the most dangerous parts of the world at the time, I did not ever expect to lose my eyesight on the nhs's watch.

My advice is keep on top of your treatment, I'm also very dull of hearing now but if you don't get answers then press for them. My son who is typing this message feels very guilty he didn't keep on top of my treatment however I've explained it's not his fault.

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Marine32,

There are so many different parts to your story and my apology may seem so inadequate considering your whole story but I am sincerely sorry that your experiences did not live up to the high standard of care you rightly expected. I am not sure if there is anything I can do for you but please do contact me if you think it will be helpful. My email address is Eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or you can phone me on 01563 826222.

It may also be helpful to call the RNIB (The Royal National Institute for the blind) on 0303 123 9999 if you have not already done so. The advice team can help, perhaps with tools, gadgets, advice or support. I am unsure which area in Ayrshire that you live in but the East Ayrshire Sensory Impairment Service can be contacted via 01290 427720. Should you live outwith East Ayrshire, they will be able to point you in the right direction.

Thank you so much for your helpful advice to others who may be experiencing health issues and for sharing your story via the Patient Opinion website.

Kindest regards,

Eunice

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Marine32,

Thank you for getting in touch with me off-line. Having discussed your situation with the senior manager, I wonder if you would like to do either (or both) of the following

- We can arrange for both you and your Dad to meet with an Ophthalmology Consultant and a Senior Manager of the service to discuss your remaining concerns

- We can arrange another clinic consultation for your Dad if you feel this will be helpful

To arrange either or both of the above I will give you the direct dial number to you by email.

I do hope this will allay all your remaining concerns.

Best wishes to you both,

Eunice
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Update posted by Marine32 (the patient)

Hi Eunice,

Thanks for your offer and ongoing attention to my Dads issues.

He has a further appointment arranged and his treatment is now in line with his needs, it's the sequence of events which I outlined in my previous correspondence which we have issues around.

I explained to you my own illness which has became worse of late in part due to my Dads circumstances, him telling me he doesn't want to be here any longer is exceptionally difficult for me too. As such I wouldn't be able to attend such a proposed meeting as it sounds too formal and stressful, I would also find the period running up to a meeting too stressful. Currently finding it difficult to attend appointments to see my mental health nurse, keep my home tidy, wash or feed us both without a huge effort. All this after an appointment with a locum GP who left me in no doubt what she thinks of individuals like me who are off sick due to mental illness. I haven't left my home socially for a very long time sadly although I am now back on medication after having come off last year (I thought to get a job after the said appointment with a locum GP but only fell flat on my face again and had an awful period of months without medication). Hope you understand such a meeting fills me with dread at this time.

You must think I moan a lot but really things haven't been good and to be honest the NHS involvement in our lives has been very mixed of late.

Nothing I can do to fix Dads eyes or his mood it seems recently, some answers to give him around the points I mentioned would have been of benefit perhaps and showed him someone does care and mistakes made won't happen again or those involved are at least aware of the problems. I still can't get my head round how he has been left blind, within less than 3 years, whilst in care of the NHS. Inappropriate medicines for his circumstances, not being seen or monitored in a timely fashion and Consultants passing wrong prognosis to his GP. Throw in waiting times for pre arranged appointments being longer than is acceptable for people turning up at A&E and an unexplained outcome to a routine cataract operation and I think well what chance did he have and he would have been better off in fact not coming into contact with Opthalmology at all.

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Marine32,

Don’t worry about moaning it can be helpful to get it all off your chest. (I think we all like a good moan when we need it). I am so sorry, what a tough time you are having. This must just be the last thing you need on top of everything else. I am also very sorry to hear you feel it would have been best not to have been involved with Opthalmology at all.

I’m afraid I can’t comment on the clinical side of things because it is not my area of experience or expertise and why it would need to be a clinician. I am not sure what to suggest now, but please have a think about it and let me know if there is anything else you want me to do to help. You can do this on or off-line.

Look after yourself.

Eunice

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