"Excessive Waiting Times in Opthamology"

About: Sutton Hospital

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My father is diabetic and so has to attend this clinic on a fairly regular basis. Last time I came, we waited 2 and a half hours before being asked whether we could come back in the afternoon. He has many other conditions as well as the diabetes which means he can get uncomfortable and agitated, so there was no way I was going to come back. Also the fact he is a diabetic and hasn't eaten for a long period of time isn't even taking into account.

Absolutely no attempt is made to check medical records to ensure those such as my father who have numerous problems which make attending hospital a problem, get seen in an adequate period of time. I've sat there and watched other patients who came in after us get seen first. Those who are elderly, disabled or infirm I don't have a problem with, it's the others in particular children who seem to get preferential treatment just because of their age rather than any medical reason. If a clinic is running late, then a triage system should be used based on need and medical conditions.

I had to attend another clinic today and a similar thing happened. Having waited 2 hours and seen others go in who came after us, we left without seeing the doctor. There was only one other person who was there before us and he was still waiting as well! There seems to be no logic as to why some get seen within 40 minutes to an hour whilst others wait for hours.

From my experience with my father he only gets about 5 to 10 minutes with the doctor for which he has to wait 2 or more hours. There were at least 3 clinicians there today, so on that basis 9 to 15 patients should be seen in half an hour. There were no more than 20 patients and after 2 hours people were still waiting, even though come 4 o'clock I heard the nurse saying there were no more patients. How is this possible? There seems to be no urgency by the doctors as they can be seen slowly walking about from one room to another not actually doing anything.

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Response from Sutton Hospital

Thank you for your response and sorry you feel we could be doing better. We understand how frustrating it must seem for other patient to get seen before you, but there are many different consultants seeing many patients at allocated times so they are not 'jumping the queue' even though it may seem like it. Your comments will be passed on to the relevant departments. Dr James Marsh Joint Medical Director

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