Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (BMEC)
Administrative arrangements let the whole system down
I was referred by my optician as an urgent referral. This was missed and dealt with as a routine referral. The optician definitely made an urgent referral as the first consultant showed us the form and it was clearly marked. - Failure 1
After being told I would have an appointment within 2 weeks and not receiving anything, I contacted hospital to inquire. I was told that I was 'in the system' but no available appointments yet, as referral had to be triaged and they were very busy and people were on holiday. I was surprised it had to be triaged as was supposed to be an urgent referral. I chased the hospital several times and each time I was told the same thing. Eventually I got a Saturday morning appointment, as a cancellation.
On arrival, there was no one on reception, so you had to scan your appointment letter. While waiting, my wife had to help 3 people register their arrival, as they didn’t know what to do. - Failure 2
The consultant I saw that 1st appointment told me I was on the wrong pathway and he would have to re refer me back to the urgent pathway, as he couldn’t do anything for me. - See Failure 1
At the next appointment (now on the right pathway), they were going to repeat all the tests I had already had done and there was no plan for me to see a doctor that day. I was quite cross as weeks had now gone by and I felt my time was being wasted. They agreed a doctor would see me when I insisted.
Eventually, I received a course of 3 Lucentis Injections and should have seen the consultant for a review exactly 1 month after the last injection. I had to chase an appointment again and was told I was 'in the system' but no date available. Eventually after calling, I got a cancellation but by then too late. The consultant said he would need me to have another set of 3 injections and made sure I had a follow up exactly 1 month after the last injection to be able to see what impact it was having. - Failure 3
Everyone has been very pleasant but the administrative arrangements let the whole system down. I have had to chase appointments and feel I have wasted my time and that of clinical staff by firstly being put onto the wrong pathway and secondly not having a follow up appointment given to me at the right time, after the injections. I also now have to have another 3 injections, potentially unnecessarily. This is a waste of NHS resources.
While the waiting area is quite bright and airy, the seated areas in the corridors are quite oppressive. The TV is tuned either to children’s TV (not appropriate for the demographic) or Jeremey Kyle- It is hideous to sit waiting for what is a scary procedure and hear people screaming at each other on the TV. Couldn’t they show something more pleasant and calming. There must be DVDs available of nature, animals, fish, countryside etc.
It is often difficult to hear names being called when it's busy and nurses have to shout. It all adds to a pretty stressful experience.