"Opthamology facilities for disabled people."

About: Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / Ophthalmology

(as a carer),

Through the post my husband received his regular Opthamology appointment for 1300 at Mountainhall Centre. I showed the appointment letter to the Consultant last week. At that time they seemed confident that arrangements could be made so that he could attend.

However, yesterday, when doing rounds, the Consultant explained that Opthamology could not fulfill the appointment. The issue was with having my husband transfer from wheelchair to special chair next to the equipment. He has been designated as ‘hoist transfers’ and this was not possible at their site.

This lack of facility is extremely exasperating. There must be many patients in his position of mobility. Are they all just to be written off from the point of eye care? In 2017 Opthamology saved the sight in his right eye. At that time he was able to make the required transfers with relative ease. If his right eye condition had occurred now, in 2019, he would have had to contend with lack of eyesight as well as all his other afflictions.

This situation is not right. It is unacceptable.


Response from Annette Finnigan, Senior Patient Experience & Safety Officer, Acute and Diagnostic Services Directorate, NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Dear squeaky13,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.

I understand that the Senior Charge Nurse and Nurse Manager have spent some time with you and your husband in order to discuss your concerns directly.

I know that you have also contacted our Patient Experience Team and that we will be responding to your concerns via that channel aswell.

I am sorry that you have had to raise concern regarding the care being provided to your husband and I hope that we can continue to work together to resolve your concerns and improve your experience.



  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by squeaky13 (a carer)

The meeting with the Senior Charge Nurse and Nurse Manager was indeed helpful. We fully recognise the efforts made by all the staff at D7.

The Senior Charge Nurse (SCN) did explain that they hope to implement a more in depth dialogue with family and carers of patients in the initial stages of admission. This will set parameters for how family and staff interact when looking after patients. This is all to the good.

One thing that still needs addressing in my opinion is the signage as to who to go to to ask questions and get information. Being of a certain age, I had imagined that it was the doctor on duty but it is, in fact, the SCN or nurse for the pod (2). But this is still not clear from the Patient Handbook or whiteboards in the room or corridor. A point of contact is important for reassuring patients and carers. Previously, I would ask whoever was available. Sometimes they were helpful but at other times I had to bite my tongue when I was told, 'Sorry, I can't help you. I don't normally work on this ward'!!

From my time in aviation, I would recommend an IT/software system where all patients' statuses and healthcare regimes were updated in real time for all relevant staff and departments to see at a touch of their mobile phones.

The Consultant did re-address the issue of my husband's Opthamology appointment for which we are grateful.