"I went to the emergency eye centre ..."

About: Manchester Royal Eye Hospital

What I liked

I went to the emergency eye centre for an injury and they were fantastic, really kind and supportive. I was referred to clinic and the nurses and doctors were great, the problem came when I explained to the doctor when I'd be on holiday and he sent me an appointment for while I was away, then I came into contact with the appointments line staff. The person I dealt with was rude, unhelpful, obstructive and insisted that because it wasn't written in my notes that I was on holiday, I was clearly lying and had just not turned up for my appointment. For this mortal sin, which I hadn't actually committed, I was relegated to the back of the queue and couldn't be seen for a further month, meaning it would be 6 weeks since I'd seen the doctor rather than the 2 that he had specified he wanted to see me in. And despite the fact that each time I'd been in clinic an appointment had been made for the following week, nothing was budging this member of staff from their position that suddenly there were no appointments for a whole month. Believe me, if I'd thought to get their name I'd have been putting in a formal complaint about both their attitude and their professionalism to the chief executive and recommending they get the admin support team onto a customer service course fast. And that's before I get onto the fact that no consultant has a secretary that works in the afternoons or returns your call if you leave an answerphone message.So in short, medical staff are fantastic, admin support staff that are meant to deal with patients are letting the side down. It seems a shame really to have such quality frontline staff and yet have patients left with the impression that the eye hospital is no good because of treatment they've received from admin staff that don't realise manners and courtesy cost nothing.

What could be improved

The appointments line operative I spoke to was rude and unhelpful. The consultants could also have secretaries who work in the afternoon or bother to ring you back if you leave them an answerphone message. Frontline staff need no improvement, they were friendly, helpful and professional.

Story from NHS Choices

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