"A Mixed Experience."

About: Cumberland Infirmary

I was recently admitted for cataract surgery, I can only commend the busy nurses on the unit. They were kind, patient and friendly. The surgeon who I spoke to briefly before the op seemed rushed and never met my eyes once. I feel this is a basic matter of politeness, however rushed a surgeon is. I felt that the unit was shabby, dispiriting and had a definite production-line feel to it. Fully clothed, without even the removal of my shoes, I felt that this wasn't as hygienic a procedure as I would have expected. I felt apprehensive as I was wheeled into the theatre and the face covering was put on less than gently and felt claustrophobic. Although the procedure didn't hurt exactly, I was very aware of the movement around and above me and the pressure on my other eyebrow. This seemed to make it difficult to keep that eye open - causing me to try and close my operation eye and resulting in what sounded like mildly frustrated instructions to stop closing my eyes, It seemed like a long ten minutes! After the operation I was given a drink and asked to fill in a satisfaction survey immediately. Having just recovered from what I felt was an unpleasant procedure and having a blurry eye I would have liked more time to accomplish and consider this questionaire. A nurse kindly and carefully took me through the post op advice before I left. It was only when I got home that I realised I should have asked for low adhesive tape to keep replacing the plastic eye guard each night. I am giving this feedback not by way of complaint, but to give an honest view of how I feel cataract surgery felt in my case. I have nothing but five star reviews for the nurses on the unit. Less stars for the ambience of the place and the feeling of being a battery hen on a production line with a surgeon who told me how many operations he had performed yet succeeded in making me feel like an eyeball and not a patient! I am due for surgery on the other eye soon and am not looking forward to my return, despite the fact that the op on this eye seems to have been very successful and I am grateful for the clarity I now feel in the sight in that eye. Despite knowing that this is one of the most performed and successful surgeries, reputed to be virtually painless, I am surprised at how unpleasant the procedure felt. I am not old and consider myself to be stoic where pain is concerned, so would imagine that the older one is the more daunting the prospect seems.......... SO, please remember - eye surgeons great and small - we're people, under the face mask!

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Response from Cumberland Infirmary

Thank you so much for taking the time to contact us with this very balanced view of your recent experience and for drawing our attention to the concerns described . I am sorry that your experience was not fully satisfactory. I will ensure that these issues are drawn to the attention of and are discussed with the team and that we learn from this for the future. It is only by receiving this sort of feedback that we can ensure our services continue to develop in terms of quality for our patients . With best wishes and thanks again Alison

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