"Needs organising!"

About: Leicester Royal Infirmary / Ophthalmology

After suffering a retinal tear I was referred to LRI by Loughborough Urgent Care Centre, who told me to go Eye Casulaty at 8.30am on Monday morning as they were not open on Sundays. When we arrived there at 8.30, the waiting room was already packed and there were no seats, in fact about 15 people were standing in the corridor waiting to get registered at the desk. We were not offered a seat, and no one on the desk seemed interested that many of us could not stand for a long time. It was obvious that some of the older, disabled people were really struggling, but no one cared. There were plenty of seats in the main waiting room, but we were not allowed to sit there! The person at the desk eventually came round the queue, after we'd been there over half an hour to hand out numbers, we could then sit down to wait for our number to be called - this was just to register!! They made no apology and was quite surly and rude. Why can't the numbers be handed out as soon as patients arrive and they could then sit down? Why are there not enough chairs anyway? I've been to the clinic a few times since and the same thing seems to happen all the time. The organisation of the department needs sorting out. It would just take someone to sit in that room all day as we had to on more than one occasion and they would understand how chaotic it is. This puts all the nurses and doctors in a bad light too, when they are generally doing a good job. I was amazed, however that only one doctor/consultant ever introduced themselves to us. I had to ask for their names every other time. I agree with another reviewer that appointment times should be stuck to much better than they are. We had one appointment at 9.45 and thought it would mean a much shorter wait, but we ended up being in the waiting room all morning again, my eye drops were not even put in for the first hour. Why on earth is everyone seemingly given the same time for an appointment? It seemed like no one cares that we were wasting our lives away in that waiting room, we have lives and jobs too. Surely a much better system could be worked out - it's not rocket science! I also think that some kind of guidance leaflet should be given to patients who have had laser treatment. I was given conflicting advice by each doctor I saw and only the last one at a later clinic explained properly what had happened to my eye, what the treatment had done and what symptoms to expect for a while. If the department was organised it would save not only patients', but doctors'/nurses' time too. I hate complaining about the NHS as I believe in it completely, but I have never experienced such a chaotic mess before in any department or clinic anywhere.

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Response from Leicester Royal Infirmary

Dear Reviewer,

We are sorry to hear of your concerns. We are well aware of the issues facing the department and that are currently being experienced by our patients and are working hard on plans to improve both patient and staff experience, capacity and organisational delivery of the service.If you would like to discuss this further please contact me by emailing clare.rose@uhl-tr.nhs.uk.

Clare Rose

General Manager

Leicester's Hospitals

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