"3 and a half hour wait for Glaucoma clinic!!!"

About: Moorfields Eye Hospital (City Road)

My mother is 87 years old and suffers from alzheimers as well as glaucoma. She has to attend appointments quite regularly at Moorfields, and it is always an horrendous ordeal for her. Yesterday (30/04/14), I accompanied her to Clinic 3 at Moorfields Eye Hospital for her appointment at 2:15pm. We arrived 15mins early, and there was a 40min wait for the Field Vision test. After this, I thought we would shortly be seen by the consultant; we were still waiting at 6:00pm. My mother has had two hip replacements, and finds sitting for long periods of time extremely uncomfortable. However, she felt that she was extremely well off in comparison to most of the other patients waiting, who had far more severe disabilities. At no time during our extended wait were we given any information about when we would be seen by a doctor, how long we might have to wait, or even how many people were ahead of us, until we decided to give up and leave. At this point the receptionist agreed that the waiting time was unacceptable and kindly escorted me to the complaints office; it was closed, the staff had all gone home. She then offered to check how many patients were still ahead of us in the queue, and after quite a lot of time and effort, managed to establish that there were still 4 patients ahead of us. My mother decided she had had enough and wanted to go home. The receptionist then had a word with the doctor and he agreed to see us. Our consultation took less than five minutes, and we came away feeling that any high street optician could have given us the same information. This was a humiliating and degrading experience, and my mother and I were not alone in feeling that we were being treated with contempt. By the end of the day we were on first name terms with many of the other patients; we had been through this ordeal together, and felt the empathy for each other that - I imagine - some hostage survivors must feel. I must say that the other patients were compliant and uncomplaining, but then, of course, they all had a choice, they could choose to get up and leave - if they were able to walk unaided - or choose to risk losing their sight. We finally left the hospital some time after 7:30pm as there was a tube strike that day, and organising transport was particularly difficult. We left our new found friends still awaiting their transport home. My mother has decided she would rather risk losing her sight than go through this ordeal again.

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Response from Moorfields Eye Hospital (City Road)

I'm so sorry to hear about this and will pass your comments on to both our glaucoma and complaints teams. If you were also able to email the complaints team directly, they will be able to investigate more thoroughly and provide you with more specific feedback. You can contact them on pals@moorfields.nhs.uk.

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