"Long waiting times, poor communication and sloppy..."

About: Sutton Hospital

I visited this hospital outpatient clinic for an eye appointment with a letter of referral from my GP to check ocular eye pressure and view my retina for a possible problems identified by my optician. It was clear from the letter that drops would be needed to examine the retina. I wasn't seen by a nurse until 20 minutes filing the appointment time. It was clear she had not read the notes or the referral letter since she starred to get me to read letters from a chart which was hardly appropriate. I explained the reason for my appointment and referred her the notes which she then read - after consultation with other staff she stopped the consultation and sent me to another waiting area to be seen. After around 90 minutes waiting [with other patients arriving being seen and leaving] and no information being made available, I asked a nurse when i would be seen. The nurse was not helpful and defensive. She disappeared [ and amy have spoken to someone] but when returning just implied the delay was due to the system and wed have to wait. No apology was given or estimate of how much longer Id have to wait. No information about where refreshment might be available. I waited another hour [ having fed the very expensive car park meter by now three times ] and clearly irritated I went to reception to complain . I was referred to a nurse who was uniquely to know what was going on so i asked to see a manger or some in charge. The manger wasn't in and the deputy was busy. I therefore returned to my seat .Success - around 5 minutes after i was seen by the doctor [ initially for 5 minutes or so ] who then told me I'd need drops to dilute the pupils [ This of course was obvious from the notes which apparently still had not been read ] - a further delay of 25 minutes then ensued whilst the drops worked.The doctor did to be fair apologise when I asked about the delay He said the delay was due to an emergency [ although we were never told about this during the whole waiting time and plenty of other patients came and went during my 4 hour wait.] No refreshments seemed to be available in the waiting area nor was I told if any were available and there were no signs showing where they might be until we were leaving. In all I had to wait nearly 4 hours without information or refreshments for a timed appointment and a procedure which should have taken about 30 -35 minutes or so certainly not more than 60 minutes . They even had problems making the original appointment ringing me to arrange an appointment when one had already been made earlier. Not good. The whole impression is of poorly managed department with poor communication , poor customer care , unacceptable delays and no information given as to the reason for the delay in keeping to my appointment time. I will be unlikely to visit again if I have the choice.Others in the waiting room also complained to me and indeed staff in 1 case about similar delays in their appointment

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