"Initially good but poor follow-up!"

About: Bristol Eye Hospital

What I liked

I had an appointment in Bristol Eye Hospital's A&E Department and I cannot fault the triage nurse or the doctor that I saw. Both were reassuringly thorough when examining my eyes and in addition their attitude towards me was courteous, respectful, and kind. I was all the more impressed because the A&E department seemed very busy with a steady stream of patients passing through with all manner of eye problems.

I can only recommend BEH with the following caveat:

What could be improved

It seems to me that the excellent medical staff are being badly let down by the lackadaisical approach adopted by the hospital's administrative side.

I was told in A&E that I would be given an appointment with a specialist because I have a relatively rare complication. Since then I've heard nothing more from the hospital. But I need to know when the appointment with the specialist is going to occur so that I can arrange my work diary around it (with redundancies in the offing I'm being careful not to upset too many work plans.)

I've tried ringing the two telephone numbers that the hospital has listed on their website for appointment enquiries but the phone merely keeps on ringing and ringing; it doesn't even go to voice mail.

I did a bit of research and found another number which a real person answered except she told me that for appointment enquiries I must ring either of the two numbers that I'd already discovered don't work. When I pointed out that the numbers don't appear to work, she said that was the only option she could offer me.

I see from other comments on this site that this problem with the appointments system has been going on for a while now and so I have to wonder why it hasn't been fixed yet?

The non-functioning appointment system is certainly eroding my trust in the hospital's capabilities.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Bristol Eye Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your experience at the Eye Hospital. We are pleased that you found the clinical staff to be kind and respectful and we will pass these comments on to the hospital. We are aware that some people have experienced problems in contacting the hospital - we are reviewing these issues and putting in place new systems to deal with them. Please note however that the phone lines are currently only manned during office hours. We are concerned that you had not received an appointment at the time of writing: if this is still the case please contact our Patient Support and Complaints service on 0117 342 3604 (or email pals@uhbrisol.nhs.uk) and we will follow this up for you. Thanks again for your comment.

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