"Not child friendly"

About: Pilgrim Hospital

We have been coming to the Eye clinic for the last 2 years with our 3 year old son. On the first visit we could not fault the nurses, the same could not be said for the Consultant who had not got the best of communication skills and failed to adequately discuss the diagnosis and treatment. The first member of staff who carried out eye tests on our son was excellent, able to interact and build a rapport with children. Unfortunately 2 others have carried out the eye tests since and have been impatient with him and almost arrogant. On our most recent visit this week, they made no attempt to be friendly or talk to him, told him off for putting his hand near his mouth, and said they did not want his germs in their clinic! They did not listen to information I was giving about his sight and just said he would need a eye patch, and gave me a leaflet. Throughout the last 2 years at times we have been stressed and upset at our child having glasses and now a patch. We know there are a lot worse things but a little support and compassion would have been appreciated. We now don't want to return to the eye clinic because we do not want our child treated by these people.

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Response from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

I am very sorry that your experience at the Orthoptic department has been so poor. We always strive to deliver the best care for all our patients but have clearly fallen very short on this occasion.

We do understand that children’s medical treatment can be stressful for all the family not just the patient, and it is our role to support you through son’s Orthoptic treatment to make it as manageable as possible. I completely agree that a child friendly approach with understanding, compassion and kindness form the basis of all good health care for children, and good communication with both your son and you as parents are vital to ensure the best orthoptic assessment and outcome. On this occasion we have not adhered to these, and although I am very disappointed in the team, I am grateful that you have brought this to my attention so that we can improve.

If you would like to contact me directly to discuss your son’s care further, I would be very happy to work through your concerns so that we can work together to give him the best possible outcome.

Sue Lightfoot

Head Orthoptist

susan.lightfoot@ulh.nhs.uk - 01205 446474