"Manchester Royal Eye Hospital"

About: Manchester Royal Eye Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as the patient),

In October 2012 I was seen by the cataract surgeon at the Eye Hospital.

The background to this was that my optician had stated the problems with poor focus and double vision were thyroid related and that the cataracts were minimal, suggesting that I should be seen at the Eye Hospital and a referral was made in early February. I have been unable to work since this debacle started, as I cannot see well enough for long enough to impress any prospective employer.

My first two appointments were in mid May and the first doctor I saw (I believe in Clinic G) went through a lot of tests and concluded that the problems were definitely thyroid related. On the same day I saw a second doctor (at the PCT Clinic where my treatment was to be decided), who refuted the thyroid problem because I did not have “scary, sticky out eyes” and said that I only required new lenses for my glasses (despite having had three unsuccessful new sets of lens since January) and sent me to the Eye Hospital’s optometrist.

A couple of days later I saw the optometrist, who said that new lens would not be of any use, my eyesight problems were most likely thyroid related. I then had to wait until the end of July before the next appointment, which was with orthoptics.

Again I saw the doctor from the second clinic who did not accept the thyroid problems as a cause of my deteriorating eyesight, again because I did not have “scary, sticky out eyes”, but did say that my cataracts had grown considerably.

This doctor then asked what my endocrinologist had to say about my thyroid and, on hearing I had never been seen by endocrinology, decided to refer me to MRI as well as to the cataract surgeons.

I was finally seen by the cataract surgeon in October and, not surprisingly, in the meantime my eyesight had deteriorated further, as had the related headaches. I arrived at 1.00pm, early for my appointment, but was still in the waiting room being ignored at 3.45pm. Yes, myself and another patient (who had arrived a few minutes later than myself) had waited over two and a half hours as we had been missed and had to remind the nurses that we had not been seen.

At that point we were accused of not booking in at the Reception desk, which both of us had done almost half an hour before the Clinic began at 1:30pm (the time we both had as our appointments).

When I was eventually called in to see the surgeon, I was firstly told off as he wished to close the clinic and then also told off as I had not had the required eye drops put in. Quite how either of these were my fault, I do not understand.

The surgeon then decided that given my other varied symptoms, including variable focus, permanent double vision in each eye, (one eye sometimes has treble vision) eye strain, painful and gritty eyes, all of which are currently untreated, he said were not in his field of expertise (again refuting “Thyroid Eye Disease” as I did not have the classic bulging eyes).

He then stated these were unlikely to change following surgery, as “a high percentage of people do not get good results from cataract surgery” and there was “an inherent possibility of blindness”. He then said he could offer cataract surgery but I had to make a decision then and there. When I declined to do so, as given the negatives of the surgery I felt thinking about it was a reasonable idea, I was summarily discharged from clinic.

The surgeons final comment was that I could see perfectly well (how can variable blurring and double vision be deemed as seeing “perfectly well”) and acted as though I was wasting his time.

I have since made enquiries at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and have been told that thyroid eye problems do not always result in the classic bulging eyes and, in fact, one does not need to have a known thyroid condition to have eyesight problems related to the thyroid. Obviously, this was given as general information and not a personal diagnosis.

Thankfully, my GP has now referred me elsewhere. Whether they can help remains to be seen.

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Responses

Response from Manchester Royal Eye Hospital

The Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH) was very sorry to receive your comments and concerns via the NHS Choices website, following your appointments at the hospital. We are concerned about some of the points you have raised, however it is very difficult to respond to the specific concerns you have raised without being able to investigate in detail and the MREH would like the opportunity to investigate your specific concerns in detail and provide reassurance. The MREH takes all issues surrounding patient care seriously. If you want to raise this issue please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 1061 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk. Eve Koutidou Patient Experience & Quality Project Officer Central Manchester University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust

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Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH) was very sorry to receive your comments and concerns via the NHS Choices website, following your appointments at the hospital.

We are concerned about some of the points you have raised; however, it is very difficult to respond to the specific concerns you have raised without being able to investigate in detail and the MREH would like the opportunity to investigate your specific concerns in detail and provide reassurance.

The MREH takes all issues surrounding patient care seriously. If you want to raise this issue please contact our Patient and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by emailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk and they will pass your concerns on to the MREH.

The Patient Experience Team