"Unable to get an appointment due to six month..."

About: Manchester Royal Eye Hospital

Very worrying backlog of appointments.

We have been trying to chase up a six monthly appointment that is essential to the treatment of glaucoma. I have been informed that they are now only working on the list of patients who should have been seen in February. After trying several avenues to get help I have been met with the same response. They don't know anything except the fact that there is a 6 month back log of patients waiting to be seen .I have been informed that there is a shortage of doctors and now that summer is here some of them are taking three weeks annual leave. This is not a new problem as we have encountered the same thing for the last two years. As a hospital that advertises itself as a centre of excellence they need to sort out communication and a way to get rid of the backlog of patients who are extremely concerned about losing their sight for the sake of a shortage of doctors.

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Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comments and for voicing your concerns. I’m sorry we have not responded to your concerns sooner – this is due to a problem we have experienced in receiving notifications of posts made on the NHS Choices website.

We are very sorry to read that you have had difficulties in getting a definitive answer regarding your appointment. As you highlighted, our glaucoma clinics have been met with a large backlog of patients due to the high demand for our services which resulted in patients not being seen in the timeframes we initially would have liked.

We have since taken new measures to ensure that this issue is resolved. In July 2015 we opened up additional glaucoma clinics at our new service in Altrincham General Hospital. This new service is providing a way of tackling our backlog and making sure our patients receive the care they need in an appropriate timeframe. This is a Manchester Royal Eye Hospital service so patients can expect the same expert glaucoma care across the two sites. Since opening this service, we have been able to reduce our glaucoma backlog significantly and can see patients in a timelier manner.

If you continue to experience delays with your appointments, I would encourage you to get in touch with us and let us know about your concerns. You can contact the Clerical Activity Team on 0161 276 5533 who can provide you updates on scheduling and appointments. If you still then continue to experience delays, you can also contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk and they can assist in liaising with the ophthalmology division to resolve your concern.

Thanks again for your feedback and please feel free to get in touch if you have any further concerns.