"Lack of communication"

About: Royal Albert Edward Infirmary / Ophthalmology

(as the patient),

I am a patient at the eye clinic Wigan, and have received several appointments, which suggest not driving to the appointment since eye drops may be used to dilate the pupils and make the vision blurred. However some of the appointments are simply for a visual field test, and not to see the clinician, either dr, or nurse practitioner. Yet the letter is the same.

This means that I either attend on public transport, or ask a friend for a lift, take time from work since I cannot drive, arrange someone else to pick up my child/take him to after school activities, a simple change in the wording of the letter would mean I was better informed.

If I'm not seeing the clinician, why doesn't the letter say so? I could a) drive to the appointment, not have to arrange the rest of my life, go to work (which incidentally is for the same trust! ) b) I would not have the same level of anxiety experienced when attending to see the dr, who will comment on my condition. c) I won't be disappointed/frustrated when I think I'm seeing the clinician, and I have questions to ask.

On one occasion, the nurse practitioner was off sick, yet no one contacted me to tell me that I would not be seeing her, when they actually knew the day before. I attended, just had a field test and then had to make another appointment to see her, I was assured that the appointment would be soon, but was actually 2 months later.

I do appreciate that staff are sick, and that can't be helped, and that appointments can't be magicked up from nowhere, but no one seemed to care, or apologise.

The clinic is always busy. I get the feeling that achieving waiting list times is the priority, the patient is not at the centre of experience. Having said that all the nurses are polite, and professional. I feel that the problem lies in the levels above those who see the patients.

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