"All staff were pleasant and surroundings ..."

About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

What I liked

All staff were pleasant and surroundings clean and tidy.

What could be improved

my appointment was 10.10 am on 22/6/10 with the consultant at the yee clinic ward 23.

I arrived at 10 am and had my eye examination at 10.15 .the examination took about 30 minutes after which i was told to return to the waiting area to be called to see the consultant

I sat there for 1 and a half hours waiting to be seen.

At no time was I approached by any staff until 12 noon when the girl who did the examination commented on the fact i was still seated at 12 noon

She went to see what was happening and returned to say i was next.

I eventually got in to see the consultant at 12.20 and saw him for 7 to 8 minutes.

I leftt the hospital at 12.30 pm.

I found the long wait of one and a half hours totally unacceptable and was offered no explanation for the delay.

Obviously there is something wrong with the way this clinic is managed.

What I would like to know is is this normal?

If so why?

Anything else?

I have had reason to visit the hospital on two occasions in the last 18 months as an out patient.

the first was a referral to the breast clinic which seemed to run more smoothly and the time wasnt an issue.

Im wondering why this visit was so different

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Responses

Response from Darlington Memorial Hospital

Thank you for highlighting your experience at the Eye Clinic. The Matron for the Opthalmology Department has taken your concerns on board acknowledging that there have been some unacceptable clinic waits. In an attempt to rectify this, the decision has been made to ask the patient to attend twice for review appointments. One appointment for the field test, and a further appointment to see the medical team approx two weeks later. This process will not apply to new patients.

It is important to note that the appointment time given to the patient, is not necessarily the appointment time the patient will be seen by the consultant as tests are usually required first. for example, patients who require to have their pupils dilated need at least 20 minutes for this to occur. The plan for the future, is that we give patients a time to attend the department and have tests completed in readiness for their appointment at a later time.

We constantly strive to improve the patient experience within the department, and will review all changes to support this aim.

Thank you for raising you issues.

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