"Poor quality of care from doctor"

About: Western Eye Hospital

Anything else?

First off, the receptionist and nursing staff were professional, polite and non-judgemental. I have no concerns about how they interacted when I visited Western Eye A&E today. I came in with 2 week history of red left eye, eye discomfort, a white/silvery raised edge at the medial edge of my cornea and localised redness on the medial side of my left eye only. The nurse saw me and agreed that she could see something at the edge of my cornea during her triage. The doctor arrived to see me. She did not ask for any further information, and I imagine she must have relied only on what the nurse told her/documented. She launched into a slit lamp examination of my eye - halfway through the examination, she asked me if I had hayfever, to which I replied "no." At the end of her examination, she told me that she thought "nothing is wrong with your eye" and that she thinks I have some hayfever or allergy which has caused some inflammation. I asked her about the white patch at the medial edge of my cornea, to which she replied "I have no idea what you're talking about, I can't see anything there." She did, however, agree to re-examine the eye under the slit lamp briefly. She again stated that she could not see anything there, but that sometimes the light can make different reflections on the surface of the iris which can make it look like there is something there. I explained that I was talking about the edge of the cornea, not the pupil. However, she insisted that she had looked at my eye and everything was normal. I then stated that I agree that my inner eye was probably normal since my vision was unaffected. However, I felt it was really important that the doctor could see what I was referring to before she reached a diagnosis. The doctor responded by reiterating that her examination was normal and nothing was wrong with my eye. I then asked, if the redness is truly allergic, then why is it localised to only one area of my left eye and why is my right eye not affected. She responded by stating that allergic reactions can often be asymmetrical, and then told me she would be prescribing me steroid eye drops for the allergic reaction. The reasons why I found this consultation unsatisfactory are: 1. Dismissed my concerns upfront, and made me feel like I was being silly to even bother coming in e.g. "I have no idea what you're talking about, I can't see anything there." 2. Did not collect further details about why I had come in. 3. Despite being unable to identify what it was that I was referring to when I stated a white/silvery raised corneal border, she made only a cursory effort to relocate it within 1-2 seconds under slit lamp. She did not think fit to e.g. look at the eye without slit lamp/get another colleague to take a look. 4. Suggested that my symptoms were due to hayfever, although the symptoms were localised to one area of my left eye, I have never suffered hayfever, and have no other associated symptoms e.g. sneeze/runny nose.

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Response from Western Eye Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is concerned to read of your experience in A & E at the Western Eye Hospital. We aim to provide the highest standards of care and treatment and we apologize for the distress and disappointment caused. Your feedback has been reported to the relevant managers but in order to enable us to investigate your concerns with the doctor involved we would appreciate further details. Please contact our PALS service pals@imperial.nhs.uk or telephone 020 3313 0088 and ask to speak to Christine Cornell, PALS Manager. We look forward to hearing from you.

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