"7 hours plus......"

About: Western Eye Hospital

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Having been told at 9am by an optician that I needed urgent attention to one eye that could not wait, I went straight to the a & e dept here. When making the receptionist aware I was there (when someone eventually returned to the desk) I was told 2-3 hours should be the expected wait. I saw a nurse within 30 mins who took all my info and gave the drops to dilate my pupils, she told me to expect 3 hours from that point. At about the five hour point a nurse appeared to announce the wait would be 5 hours plus for new arrivals and that people should consider returning to the dept the following day when they may be less busy - having waited this long I was told I was 3rd in the queue, after this long and being told that I had a medical emergency that needed urgent attention I was not about to be turned away by the nhs. There was a lone doctor at this facility for 90% of the time I was there, once seen by him the original drops had worn off and I then had to wait another hour for new drops to take effect. I have no issues with the doctor (who in fact was very understanding and informative) the majority of the nurses and the receptionist but the lack of communication, lack of staff was simply appalling considering the distress of an eye injury/ concern - 7 hours for a solution is simply unacceptable. I sincerely hope that this was a one off day so others don't have to go through what I went through yesterday.

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Response from Western Eye Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is very sorry to read of your experience in A & E at the Western Eye Hospital and we apologise for the distress that the long wait caused. This is not the experience we aim to provide and it would be helpful to be able to investigate the situation. To facilitate this we would welcome your patient details and hope that you might contact our PALS service pals@imperial.nhs.uk We hope you are recovering well.

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