"So far not impressed and concerned as to what the..."

About: Royal Eye Infirmary

What I liked

In February 2012, my optician recommended that I have a cataract operated on and he put the recommendation in to my GP. Then I waited for Sentinel to contact me with an appointment, which was arranged for June. I attended and was seen by a member of the Consultants team, who gave me the impression that they would have prefered being anywhere else rather than seeing me. They said that they did not really see why I was told I needed the operation as they thought my sight was fine. I asked for advice as to what to do as I am struggling with everything sightwise, but received almost a shrug of the shoulders and a comment that I could have an eye scan done if I wanted. I agreed to this as I was obviously not going to get any helpful information that day.

I attended on for the scan, but when I was called in, it was to be told that the Consultant was not available because Admin had forgotten to book them as unavailable due to a prior commitment. I was told I would be contacted with a new appointment time, but dispite waiting 10 days, no-one contacted me. I had to try the premium rate number for appointments several times before I managed just to get an appointment for July. Another six weeks of waiting.

I am very dissapointed with the Administration side of this hospital. The standard letters that are sent out state that an automated reminder service is used, but not where I am concerned (luckily I do not need this, but others may). There is no mention as to which reception area you are to report to, the phone should not be a premium rate number and should be answered during standard office hours and as for the shambles in June, what else can I say.

I can only hope that I eventually get the advice and/or operation I require to enable me to see properly again and prevent me having to replace spectacles every 3 months. I have no choice but to wait as private treatment is not a viable financial option.

What could be improved

Administration staff doing a better job. (I worked in Admin my whole career so I do know what to expect). Once the initial error of booking a clinic that could not take place had been realised, it would have gone some way to calming things down if someone had taken the time to phone me with a new appointment, preferably a lot sooner than mid July, as the error was not mine.

I have the distinct impression that had I not kept trying to get through on the phone, I would still be waiting to get an appointment.

Have two standard letters availble depending on which reception desk the patient is to report to and omit the "automated reminder" section, if this is not actually going to be used.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››