About: Royal Free Hospital

What I liked

Excellent treatment when it happens.

What could be improved

The clinic was crowded - people were standing at times, though not for long - and appears chaotic. Signs warned of long delays and even these were underestimates. It was clear that the reception staff are more than used to such delays. They were not able to give any information about how much long individuals could expect to wait. One elderly lady gave up and announced that she was going home.

I was last at Ophthalmology outpatients for assessment (as opposed to treatment) in April and May 2009. I also found the conditions somewhat chaotic and crowded then, but the delays upon arrival were not as long. However there was a long delay from the time my GP referred me to treatment. There is little point in patients being given a choice of hospital when all they have to go is the date of their first appointment.

Today, 22 March, I received a letter for a further consultation. The letter is dated March 6th. I remember another appointments letter in 2009 arriving long after the date on it. Last week I rang to ask what was happening with my next appointment, which I understood from the doctor seen would be for treatment. The person who dealt with my call was excellent in most respects and I received the appointment letter (dated March 6) the next day.

What they could not help me with was the fact I was going back to see the same doctor after he had told me to expect an appointment for treatment as the next step. I fear that there has been an error that requires me to attend and presumably have eye drops again only to be told the drugs and appointment were not needed. I also fear my treatment will be delayed by four weeks.

I hope I need no further treatment after the next procedure. If I do, I will not choose the Royal Free.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Free Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. We know that some of the ophthalmology clinics can be crowded at times and we are looking at ways to resolve this. We are sorry you have concerns about your next appointment and treatment. Please contact our PALS team for help with this - http://tinyurl.com/2ez9hks.

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