"Eye clinic"

About: Cheltenham General Hospital

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I experienced a sudden onset of black blots and floaters in my right eye, in May 2013. I had been warned by my optician that this could indicate a detachment of the retina as I am very myopic. I rang the optician, who said I should telephone the eye clinic at Cheltenham hospital immediately.Then followed an interminable muddle, as the contact tel. no.. had recently been changed. Finally, having left a message on an answerphone, on the 3rd call, managed to speak to someone. She was a little abrupt about my optician, said they should have seen me first. She then 'phoned my optician, upset the receptionist, who managed to fit me in at 5pm. They thought it was a PVD, not detached retina, but I should be seen within the week. In January 2013 they had a patient with exactly the same symptoms; he was told to 'phone the eye clinic, was seen straight away & did turn out to have a detached retina. The person I spoke to at the hospital had no way of knowing whether I had a detached retina by asking questions over the 'phone. I got an appointment within a week (just). Arrived to find around 70 people in waiting room standing room only! Running several clinics on a Friday, it was organised chaos! Over 4 hour wait to see doctor, but he did organise an immediate follow-up with a consultant, a week later. I have numerous small tears/holes around retina - advised strongly to have laser surgery, within 1 month. I have the appointment, and am going in very shortly. Have to say that reception & staff very good, working under crowd conditions. (There was a broken coffee machine, and some of us were moved to an alternative waiting room on my first visit, to ease crowding. The staff kindly brought us water, as not even that was available!). PS. car parking charges are a nightmare, with these long waits.

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Response from Cheltenham General Hospital

I was really sorry to hear about your experiences in our Ophthalmology department and hope your surgery goes well. We'd like to get a few more details so we can investigate some of the issues that you have raised. Would you be happy to contact our PALS department on 0800 019 3282? Thanks again for getting in touch.

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