"Better planning and patience go a long way"

About: Royal Oldham Hospital

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My father has been attending the Eye Clinic over the last 2 years due to cataracts and glaucoma. Today he attended a pre-op assessment in preparation for removing the cataracts in one of his eyes. Firstly his appointment letter was printed Thurs 23/05 and received the following day, Fri 24/05. The appointment was arranged for Tues 28/05, making it the first working day after the bank holiday weekend. As always with Royal Oldham Hospital, they take a very long time in contacting you and when they do, they expect you to rush to an appointment they have kindly arranged for you for the next working day. My father is 81 this June and although he is generally very robust and healthy, he prefers to have a member of the family present to support him and help him with asking questions he may forget at the time. We were lucky that I had already booked today as annual leave from work so was able to accompany him. My father is a non-English speaker, therefore an interpreter was present. Embarrassingly, the nurse took my father's lack of English as deafness and shouted all through the hour long appointment (it was evident that she was capable of speaking in a normal volume). She also rushed my father into choosing go through the operation under general anaesthetic over local. Her reason for rushing him was that she had another patient scheduled after us and that we have only a limited amount of time to do the pre-op assessment. While I understand that all of the NHS are under pressure to see as many patient as they can etc. I felt that her attitude towards my father was more abrupt than it needed to be, it rather felt like she placing the blame on my father for the overrunning of the assessment rather than the system. Moreover, at the exact time of when the next patient was due, she made a point of pausing the assessment to go out and "apologise to the next patient". While such courtesies should be an everyday occurrence, I would like to point out that we did not receive such an apology prior to our appointment, and we certainly were not received on time. This little display made it feel very much like she making us aware of a queue behind us and that we should hurry up. Maybe I shouldn't lay the criticism entirely on the nurse, but I would like to point out that I work for a bank and I am never rude or abrupt to my customers and I'm sure we all know how powerless the underdog is in the financial sector. Maybe the nurse would have been kinder and more patient with us if the NHS was more clever with their resources. Instead of giving us leaflets to take away with us after the appointment, how about sending them to us along with the appointment letter, informing us that there are some important decisions to be made by the day of the appointment. That way the time consuming discussions can be done at home and not in NHS's time.

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Response from Royal Oldham Hospital

We are sorry to read your comments regarding your fathers visit to the ophthalmology department at the Royal Oldham Hospital. If you wish to discuss your concerns, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0161 604 5897.

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