"A total mess..."

About: Moorfields Eye Hospital (City Road)

I've been at this hospital accompanying my parents a number of times over the past 2 years. The waiting times got worse and worse. The last time it was absolutely insane!

On 6 January 2016 I accompanied with my father (he's 85 years old). His appointment (visual fields and doctor consultation at Clinic 3) was at 1:30pm. At about 3:30pm, after two hours of waiting, he was taken for the first part of the visual fields (the letters reading). After about another half an hour he was taken to do the actual visual fields. I thought that would be the worst part, in terms of waiting, but he was taken in for the doctor exam at 6:15pm! That's almost 5 hours after we arrived! By that time we were tired and nervous. Obviously, at that hour, both my father and the doctor were very tired so he was rapidly examined and then that was it.

The person at the reception (Clinic 3) could not tell me why we seem to be almost the last ones and if all the ones before us had an earlier appointment time.

There does not seem to be an order in that system. They keep moving around a pile of medical files and I do not even know if the files' order follows the appointments' order or not. Clearly it does not when it comes to the Visual Fields as all sorts of people that were not there when we arrived kept going in!

I also do not understand why there are so many appointments made for the same time?! Do they call everyone at 1:30pm and then they work out through them randomly?! Why do they make so many appointments when they know for sure they cannot handle that load?

Overall, this was just unacceptable. The whole experience was extremely tiring, as we had to wait for 5 hours in a badly aired room with fluorescent lights :-( We'd definitely be looking into changing to another hospital. Not sure if they have better waiting times but it's not really worth the travel to go to Moorfields for a follow-up appointment...

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Response from Moorfields Eye Hospital (City Road)

We are very sorry to hear of your experiences when visiting the clinic at Moorfields. We recognise that waiting times in clinic can be an issue and appreciate the frustration this causes our patients and their carers and can only apologise for it when it happens. However you should have received an explanation as to why your father's appointment was running so late. We are currently working hard to address some of the many factors that lead to such delays, and hope that going forward the experience of our patients in this regard will improve. We would of course be happy to look into the specific circumstances of you and your father's visit and if you would like us to do so please contact our patient advice and liaison service (PALS) via pals@moorfields.nhs.uk or 0207566 2324/ 25 who will be able to look further into this. Again, please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you were caused on this occasion.