"Delays ----Chaos"

About: Royal Bournemouth General Hospital

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Yesterday my husband travelled from the west midlands to collect his almost 90 yr old father from Swanage and bring him to your eye unit. On the way there the heavens opened up, all the tourists took to the roads and there was traffic and travel chaos. They advised the unit of the delays and kept travelling. Upon arrival the woman doing the clinic was packing up. She refused to see my father-in-law as they were "too Late" It is hugely difficult to do all these medical visits. they tried to remake the appt. but of course you can't ,someone in the "Appointments Office" does this and writes to you, so we have no choice but to wait for this and then work out if we can get down again to help -- I think the clinician could have been generous on this occasion and done this elderly chap and us ( also not so young people) a favour and done his visual fields and retinal photos - it does not take that long to do ....Look at your attendance list and you will see who the pt is. Yes the elderly are treated badly and disrespectfully. I am an NHS employee of 39 years and I'd never treat anyone like this. Shame on you Bournemouth Eye Unit. Can these tests be done nearer to home ? - my local Community Hospital does this several times a week, can't you? What's happened to treatment nearer to home ?? It's obviously just a political throwaway line!

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Response from Royal Bournemouth General Hospital

Dear Marilyn Thank you for providing us with your feedback. I completely understand your concerns and apologise that we have not met your needs as we would have hoped please know that we are going to hold a proper investigation and I will respond to the website within the next 2 weeks. If, in the meantime, you wish to discuss this further please contact our PALS office on 01202 704886 or email pals@rbch.nhs.uk

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Response from Sue Mellor, Patient Experience Lead, Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Marilyn

The senior nurse has investigated your comments and provided me with a detail response.

We believe that following a phone call from your family regarding the delays, clear advice was given not to proceed with the journey unless confident of arriving before 4pm. This included an explanation of time required to do all tests and for the procedure to be performed as well as the required observation time after the procedure, which can take up to two hours. From that conversation we did not anticipate your father in law arriving. We do accept how difficult it is to gauge the traffic especially when you have made such a journey however we do need to make decisions based on clinical safety.

It takes a minimum of one and a half hours for the total procedure assuming there are no delays, for example some elderly eyes can take a little longer to dilate, or the recovery observation period. It is also imperative that we have staff available in the event that there is a unforseen complication and as it was 4;20pm when you arrived, staff had no time to make alternative home arrangements to stay until at least 6pm.

Whilst it would have been better if we had been able to proceed, due to the department closing and there being no Doctor available after this time, the decision to not proceed was based on our Clinical Protocols designed to protect our patients. The senior nurse is confident that the decision taken at the time based on the information available to them was appropriate. Due to the specifics of the procedure it is important not to rush any patient and definitely not a patient in their nineties, especially given the clinical governance risks.

Please know that we do have great empathy with you and your family and recognise your frustrations; please believe that decisions were made with the patients interests placed first.

In addition and in response to one of your questions, Swanage Hospital do not currently perform this procedure to our knowledge, due I understand to the specialist ophthalmic equipment required and appropriately trained photographer, which would have significant cost implications.

Please accept our apologises that your father in law was unable to have his procedure and the Senior Nurse would be happy to discuss this in more detail if you would like to get in touch through me.

Sue Mellor: Head of Patient Experience

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