"Eye clinic"

About: Leighton Hospital

I have attended at the eye clinic twice now over the last 3 weeks. I cannot complain about the staff or the treatment because it was good, but attending at the clinic for an appointment is an awful experience and it hasn't improved since around 2007 when I regularly attended to assist my mother-in - law with her appointments. I have attended at other departments and at the 'day centre' and it was always well organised and efficient. It seems that everyone turns up at the same time, the waiting room is full with a TV volume turned up high. Initially the service is very quick with a nurse or hca carrying out eye tests and eye drops administered, but then the big wait and wait and wait. Numerous comings and goings of staff but still you wait. My first appointment was just 2 minutes in duration but the 1hr 35 minute wait sole destroying. My second appointment again was 2 minutes with a wait of 2hrs 5 minutes. It was exactly the same all those years ago, please get your act together and start staggering arrival times or at least do realistic appointment times instead of cramming patients in. One further point, which was a topic of conversation in the waiting room was the number of staff on duty, at one point there were 8 members of staff gathered in one place having a good old natter, and that wasn't just the one occasion. it can get quite tedious sitting in an uncomfortable chair with a large number of equally fed up people for such a long time. Whilst the actually interaction with all staff was good the overall experience is terrible

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Response from Leighton Hospital

I apologise for the bad experience you have had in our clinics. As you know, our clinics are very busy. We regularly have 8 - 10 clinicians working in the same session so there are a lot of patients arriving at the same time. The department has had some new rooms built recently and the intention is to provide two different areas to check a patient’s vision when they arrive. Some of these patients will then be able to wait in a bigger waiting area which will help to reduce the current congestion in the Eye Care Centre waiting area. The staff in the department work very hard and it is likely that the group of staff seen chatting were either having a short break or discussing something to do with work. They do not leave the department for a break due to the activity in the clinic, but try to have a quick drink at some point during the morning or afternoon. We are sorry that this does not give a good impression and we will make staff aware. Although you did not need a lot of time with the doctor/nurse, other patients do and sometimes patients need longer than their allotted time. This is difficult to predict. Leighton is a training hospital, so junior doctors will take longer with a patient and will require supervision from a more senior doctor. They have a smaller list of patients but, again, it is difficult to predict how long they will need with each patient. The team is very sorry to hear that you are unhappy with your experience due to the delays and we will continue to try to improve on this in the future. Helen Nutkins, Modern Matron , Surgery and Cancer Division

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