"Little communication between departments"

About: Ayr Hospital / Ophthalmology Ayr Hospital / Urology

(as a staff member posting for a carer/relative),

My elderly father regulary attends Ayr Hospital Macular Outpatients - is partially sighted in both eyes and receives injections at this clinic. He has also recently been referred to Urology for prostate investigations.

A follow up appointment was arranged for him at Ayr Day Surgery for Urology in July at 0915. He also had an appointment on the same day at the Macular Dept at 10. 45. I phoned both departments to let them know he had two appointments close to each other and due to his frailness would require wheelchair assistance between both clinics. I was assured this would not be a problem, so when dropped my parents at Day Surgery at 09. 10 I spoke to a nurse to remind her about this and was told this was in place.

When I returned to collect them from the Macular Dept at 11. 15 I was told my father was still in the Urology Dept and I was to collect him from there and take him for his next appointment. However when I arrived at Urology my father still hadn't been seen - he was called at 11. 25 and was out 5 minutes later. The nurse contacted the Macular dept to be told that he had missed his appointment slot and a new appointment would need to be made.

The referral letter he received originally said there may be a waiting time of up to one hour - however whilst they were waiting they were told appointments were running even later.

I cannot understand why an appointment time of 09. 15 would be running 2 hours late. I also don't understand why there was so little communication between the two departments resulting in my father missing important treatment when both clinics are in the same hospital.

If the Urology clinic was running so late, could he not have been transferred to the Macular dept and seen there first? We received a call giving us another appointment at Macular - however this has resulted in time having to be taken off work to make the necessary arrangements to get my parents to the clinic.

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Alsmum,

It makes no sense on any level to bring someone back unless it is absolutely necessary, particularly an elderly person with a issues affecting their sight. As patients, we do get kept waiting frequently and are fairly tolerant of this on the whole; but sometimes we need a bit of leeway and understanding too. It is very disappointing that this happened and I am really sorry there was no cohesion or coordination of the two appointments here. If you would like us to look into this to understand more about what and the why, I will be happy to do so. Just give me a wee call on 01563 826222 or email me at eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk. I will need to know your father’s details: his name, date of birth and address. In the meantime, I will pass this to the services concerned for their consideration. Thank you for letting us know about this disappointing event.

I hope you are both well,

Best wishes,


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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We are preparing to make a change

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Dear Alsmum,

Thank you again for your contact and our dialogue. I am really pleased to tell you that after much discussion and a thorough investigation, the Sister responsible for this clinic has said -

'Firstly I wish to apologise again for the concerns regarding your father.

I agree that the length of time he waited was unacceptable, we have new members of staff who were in the clinic that day, it was also a double clinic that was running, so I think it has been an oversight that they have not informed patients about the delay and didn't offer tea and coffee, after the clinic was running an hour behind. This could have been structured differently and we will aim to do this in the future.

Currently I am looking into why the letter you received stated it would be around an hours wait, as this is a one-stop clinic the letters generally say 2-3 hours as patients can be sent to x-ray and the ward area for further tests.

Once again my sincere apologies for your fathers wait and for your inconvenience.

If you wish to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact me'.

S/N Gavin

Ballochmyle suite

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