"Over-capacity is not a good excuse!"

About: Hull Royal Infirmary

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I have been a patient of the Opthalmology Dept. for many years now and hoped that the opening of the new Eye Hospital would improve the waiting times between follow-up appointments. Sadly this seems to be worse than it was before. My visits were to monitor my ocular hypertension which, owing to the prescribed eye drops, were managing the pressures in my eyes. For several years the pressures were acceptable and I did not worry too much when I was not seen on a yearly basis and just waited for an appointment to turn up. This changed last December (2012) when I attended the nurse-led glaucoma clinic which, incidentally, was 19 months after my previous appointment. It was then found that the situation had changed with one of my eyes and I had lost a little sight meaning that it now had glaucoma. The nurse prescribed different drops and saw me again in January (2013) to make sure the drops were working. She told me she would see me again in about 5 months. Next month it will be a year since I was seen! I have phoned the appointments clerk only to be told by a very harassed sounding person that because of 'over-capacity' there is a delay and everyone must be seen in the correct order. I agree that we shouldn't queue jump but I want to know why this situation of 'over capacity' has arisen. It seems to me there is something very wrong with the funding of this department and it is time that someone with some authority sorted it out.

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Response from Hull Royal Infirmary

Dear Barbara Thank you for placing your posting on the Patient Opinion website. We are sorry to read of your recent experience and we will ensure that the staff concerned are made aware. The Ophthalmology service is currently working towards resolving the difficulty some patients have experienced in obtaining appointments. Also, a new telephone system will be introduced in the new year to connect patients to someone best placed to assist with specific requests, however in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service on (01482) 623065 or email on pals@hey.nhs.uk and the team will be happy to help. If you would like to become more involved in decisions about local healthcare, we are recruiting members. By becoming a member you receive our quarterly newsletter, find out more about your local NHS and help us improve local services. You can also attend our ‘medicine for members’ sessions and respond to questionnaires. You don’t need any special skills or experience to become a member; you just need an interest in local health services. There is no commitment, you can get involved as much or as little as you choose. For more information please either email your.nhs@hey.nhs.uk or telephone the Corporate Affairs office on telephone number (01482) 675165. Thank you once again for taking the time to provide us with your views on local NHS services. Kind regards, Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

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