"Macular Assessment D clinic"

About: Manchester Royal Eye Hospital

My mother and I attended a regular macular assessment clinic on the afternoon of Nov 4th at D clinic. It was apparent from arrival - from comments made by staff and the general rushing around of staff members trying to resolve problems - that there were issues with staffing levels and room allocation for initial sight tests and administration of atropine drops. The waiting room filled up until there was standing room only for patients and carers. Appointment times came and went and patients became increasingly disgruntled. The information screen continued to show that all appointments were "on time", despite the fact that some patients had been waiting well over an hour past their appointment time for initial tests before being sent for imaging. When approached by me, reception staff could give no information about waiting times. Eventually, after my mother asked for information to be given to patients, a member of staff addressed the massed waiting room.

When my mother was eventually seen, the nurse, obviously under pressure to get through the patients as quickly as possible due to delays, made no effort to help my mother (who is visually and hearing impaired and who uses two crutches) to be seated, to hear questions in a way that was comprehensible to her, or to leave the room safely. Has nursing become a non-contact profession? Is it a question of avoiding cross-infection (odd, given the availability of gloves and hand sanitizer) and to avoid industrial injury (crutches are quite light and easy to handle by the able-bodied) that an elderly woman is not aided to access her walking aids, jacket, gloves and handbag when attempting to leave a room safely after testing? Needless to say, my mother was, and continues to be, distressed to the verge of tears at the lack of help and empathy. Did Project 2000 kill nursing as a caring profession?

On a happier note, my mother recently received wonderful care from her surgeon and nursing staff at the Cataract Centre at Withington Community Hospital.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Ms H Bateman, Matron, Macular Treatment Centre, was very sorry to receive your comments and concerns via the NHS Choices / Patient Opinion website about you and your mother’s experiences at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Module D on November 4th 2015 and would like to offer her sincere apologies. Your comments have been raised directly with the nursing staff at the Macular Treatment Centre so that they can reflect on their nursing care and professional behaviour on the date you attended. It is very difficult to respond to the specific concerns you have raised without being able to investigate in detail. We take all issues surrounding patient care very seriously and would very much like to hear from you directly about this. If you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk we will be happy to discuss this with you. Ms Bateman has also passed your kind comments onto the staff at the Cataract Centre at Withington Community hospital