"A grueling wait for a 5 minute appointment"
About: Royal Eye Infirmary Royal Eye Infirmary Plymouth PL4 6PL
Posted via NHS Choices
What I liked
Not much really.
What could be improved
Organisation of the out-patient clinic is in dire need of review if my experience is typical.
I had an 11 am appointment, but was asked to arrive 20 minutes earlier to have a visual field test. When this test did take place ( well after 12 noon) an apology for the delay was given, and it was explained that there are no actual appointments for visual field tests.
It's not rocket science to understand that if a scheduled appointment must be preceded by a test, randomly timed based on demand that day, it's very unlikely that the scheduled appointment will take place as planned.
I guess because of the delay with the visual field test, my notes were put at the bottom of the pile, and I was finally seen for my 11 o'clock appointment at 1.15pm, two and a quarter hours late. I was the last to be seen.
Towards the end of my wait, I went to the reception desk to check that I was " still on the radar", only to find that everyone had disappeared off to lunch!
I'm a recently retired GP, so it's salutary for me to experience the NHS from the consumer point of view. The crowded waiting room in the Eye Infirmary wasn't the most pleasant of experiences, and there were lots of mutterings amongst fellow patients about long waits.
I waited in total for over two and a half hours for two tests that each took about 5 minutes.
Having been given a specific appointment, I'm not sure this is good enough.
The clinical side of the experience was both courteous and efficient, but getting there was an ordeal.
Occasionally delays can be due to unforeseen emergencies in the NHS, but as far as I could see, the delays I experienced were due to poor organisation.