"My elderly aunt felt like she was at the back of the line"
About: North Devon District Hospital / Ophthalmology North Devon District Hospital Ophthalmology EX31 4JB
Posted by Jog215 (as ),
Last Thursday I went with my elderly Aunty to her twice-a-year ophthamology appointment, which was originally arranged for 11:45. After registering on arrival, an hour past by and my 82 year old Aunt who is in a wheelchair and blind in one eye, became increasingly fretful.
I approached a nurse and asked if there was a problem, or if we'd been overlooked. The nurse stated that the Doctor was backlogged and that 3 other patients were ahead of us in the queue. We were obviously a bit annoyed given that my Aunt's appointment was supposed to be at 11:45, but we decided to hang on and wait.
Another 45 minutes elapsed and I approached a different nurse for information. She began by saying that there were now only two people in front of us, but when I asked her how much longer it might take she quite flippantly replied: "how long is a piece of string".
By this time we were really frustrated as we saw people who arrived after us, walk in to the Doctor's office for their appointments. Apparently they were priority cases and had been fast-tracked, but who could more of a priority than a partially sighted women in her 80s?
We were most annoyed about the lack of information and communication, we would never have traipsed down there and waited two hours if we'd have known such a delay was a possibility. My Aunt's appointment was in effect pointless and she felt like she was put at the back of a very long line of people.
Eventually we decided to arrange another appointment, which is scheduled for December, some three months after the initial appointment.
We know there can some waiting involved when you attend a hospital appointment, but to me the Opthamology Department seemed overloaded and overstretched to properly honour it's appointments that day.