New patients turned away from eye clinic

The eye department at GWH has been struggling to cope with demand

The eye department at GWH has been struggling to cope with demand

First published in News by

NEW patients are being turned away from the Great Western Hospital’s eye department as staff struggle with growing demand.

While exisiting patients are being treated as normal at the clinic for a variety of eye problems including cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and corneal graft, new patients are being referred to hospitals and services as far afield as Cheltenham.

The situation was described as ridiculous and wrong’ by a 77-year-old West Swindon pensioner who asked not to be named.

The woman, who is awaiting cataract surgery, was at first told she would not be able to be seen in Swindon but would instead have to travel to Cirencester.

She was eventually booked into Cheltenham for the operation, which is due to take place in May.

“It is absolutely ridiculous,” she said.

“I was told that the department was only open to patients who have already been using it and not to new patients. I was told I had to go to Cirencester and then, when I called again, they said I had to go to Cheltenham. I thought it’s getting further and further away.

“In a big place like Swindon this is just wrong. It’s such a rigmarole when you have an eye department on your doorstep.”

The GWH said it has difficulties dealing with demand due to a growing and ageing population.

But itn is about to implement new measures to cater for patients, such as providing 28 extra clinics each week.

Hilary Shand, chief operating officer at GWH NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Ophthalmology Service at the Great Western Hospital has been experiencing some difficulty in meeting demand.

“With more patients we have been working on a plan to improve the service.

“The trust board recently approved a £1.6m investment in the service to support our plans to provide 28 more clinics per week at GWH and out in the local community in Swindon and Wiltshire, and significant investment in recruiting extra doctors, nurses and support staff.

“While these plans take effect, Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group have temporarily stopped new patients from being referred to our ophthalmology service at GWH, other than for emergency cases.

“This is while we increase staffing and the number of clinics to match demand. Existing patients under our care are still being treated.”

She added new staff had been recruited to ensure the service was more effective.

A Swindon Clinical Commissioning group spokesman said the body will provide transport to patients having to go to another hospital for treatment.

“To enable the GWH to treat all of its current patients, the ophthalmology department is no longer accepting new patient referrals from 1 January until they are able to recover from a situation whereby new referrals were being seen in a more timely manner than those requiring follow-up assessment.

“The department will continue to care for existing patients and receive any new emergency referrals.

“New patients have the option of different healthcare providers, who all provide the same level of treatment.

“Swindon CCG has made arrangements for any patient who has to travel to another hospital, to receive transport at no cost to the patient.”

Comments (9)

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8:04am Thu 13 Mar 14

swindondad says...

GWH was never / will never be big enough to serve all the medical needs of the growing population of Swindon.

It is normal (I am not saying it's right) for patience to have to travel to , RUH (Bath), BRI (Bristol) or Rafcliffe (Oxford) for routine clinics and procedures as well as the understandable longer trips for more specialist care.

All this travel is expensive, time consuming, tiring and stressful but for all its faults I am thankful for all the services that the NHS provides (free at the point of delivery) for the community.
GWH was never / will never be big enough to serve all the medical needs of the growing population of Swindon. It is normal (I am not saying it's right) for patience to have to travel to , RUH (Bath), BRI (Bristol) or Rafcliffe (Oxford) for routine clinics and procedures as well as the understandable longer trips for more specialist care. All this travel is expensive, time consuming, tiring and stressful but for all its faults I am thankful for all the services that the NHS provides (free at the point of delivery) for the community. swindondad
  • Score: 1

8:17am Thu 13 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

are they being told there is no one to "see" them?
are they being told there is no one to "see" them? house on the hill
  • Score: -2

8:18am Thu 13 Mar 14

anotherimigrant says...

Strange how they didn't see it coming. Should have gone to speck savers.

I personally now have a good collection of people who are all angry with the way they were treated at this disgustingly badly run place.

I will be passing it to the Care Quality Commission and see if they will investigate this place again.

This filthy place should be in administration, the management are liars and I wouldn't believe anything they said even if they said today was Thursday, I'd check the calendar.
Strange how they didn't see it coming. Should have gone to speck savers. I personally now have a good collection of people who are all angry with the way they were treated at this disgustingly badly run place. I will be passing it to the Care Quality Commission and see if they will investigate this place again. This filthy place should be in administration, the management are liars and I wouldn't believe anything they said even if they said today was Thursday, I'd check the calendar. anotherimigrant
  • Score: -7

10:22am Thu 13 Mar 14

KAG888 says...

I attended the GWH eye clinic in both 2012 and 2013. On each occasion it involved a four hour wait to see a doctor for just an examination that took only a few minutes.
Each time I was given drops that make it impossible to drive; so, if I were to be sent to Bristol, Bath, Cirencester or Cheltenham who is going to pay for my travel (and is there transport to get me there for the allocated appointment time) - not the NHS Trust I am sure!!!!!!!
I attended the GWH eye clinic in both 2012 and 2013. On each occasion it involved a four hour wait to see a doctor for just an examination that took only a few minutes. Each time I was given drops that make it impossible to drive; so, if I were to be sent to Bristol, Bath, Cirencester or Cheltenham who is going to pay for my travel (and is there transport to get me there for the allocated appointment time) - not the NHS Trust I am sure!!!!!!! KAG888
  • Score: -3

11:21am Thu 13 Mar 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

They can get private treatment at the Ridgeway Hospital
It is not free but with a good health insurance, it is not that expensive.
They can get private treatment at the Ridgeway Hospital It is not free but with a good health insurance, it is not that expensive. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -1

6:29pm Thu 13 Mar 14

PJC says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
They can get private treatment at the Ridgeway Hospital
It is not free but with a good health insurance, it is not that expensive.
If you can afford health insurance!
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: They can get private treatment at the Ridgeway Hospital It is not free but with a good health insurance, it is not that expensive.[/p][/quote]If you can afford health insurance! PJC
  • Score: 1

8:14am Fri 14 Mar 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

PJC wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
They can get private treatment at the Ridgeway Hospital
It is not free but with a good health insurance, it is not that expensive.
If you can afford health insurance!
It is a very competitive market unlike the NHS, you can get a good cover for less than a Sky or Virgin TV pack, 2x packet of cigs and for most working people, it is included in their pay packet.
[quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: They can get private treatment at the Ridgeway Hospital It is not free but with a good health insurance, it is not that expensive.[/p][/quote]If you can afford health insurance![/p][/quote]It is a very competitive market unlike the NHS, you can get a good cover for less than a Sky or Virgin TV pack, 2x packet of cigs and for most working people, it is included in their pay packet. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -1

4:42pm Fri 14 Mar 14

anotherimigrant says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
PJC wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
They can get private treatment at the Ridgeway Hospital
It is not free but with a good health insurance, it is not that expensive.
If you can afford health insurance!
It is a very competitive market unlike the NHS, you can get a good cover for less than a Sky or Virgin TV pack, 2x packet of cigs and for most working people, it is included in their pay packet.
And when you get there, who do you think you'll see, some excellently qualified surgeon who is better than all the rest?

No it's the same old hacks they have at the other filthy house of death, but this time they give you free coffee and tea, only it's not, because they charge you a weeks wages to see them.

And it should also be remembered, if you have a memory, that most of us have already paid for this disservice all our working lives, and now when we need it they simply let you starve to death, or die of dehydration or overdose you with opiates to dispatch you as quickly and as quietly as they can, so that you don't get to cash in your health credits.
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: They can get private treatment at the Ridgeway Hospital It is not free but with a good health insurance, it is not that expensive.[/p][/quote]If you can afford health insurance![/p][/quote]It is a very competitive market unlike the NHS, you can get a good cover for less than a Sky or Virgin TV pack, 2x packet of cigs and for most working people, it is included in their pay packet.[/p][/quote]And when you get there, who do you think you'll see, some excellently qualified surgeon who is better than all the rest? No it's the same old hacks they have at the other filthy house of death, but this time they give you free coffee and tea, only it's not, because they charge you a weeks wages to see them. And it should also be remembered, if you have a memory, that most of us have already paid for this disservice all our working lives, and now when we need it they simply let you starve to death, or die of dehydration or overdose you with opiates to dispatch you as quickly and as quietly as they can, so that you don't get to cash in your health credits. anotherimigrant
  • Score: -2

4:42pm Fri 14 Mar 14

anotherimigrant says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
PJC wrote:
A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
They can get private treatment at the Ridgeway Hospital
It is not free but with a good health insurance, it is not that expensive.
If you can afford health insurance!
It is a very competitive market unlike the NHS, you can get a good cover for less than a Sky or Virgin TV pack, 2x packet of cigs and for most working people, it is included in their pay packet.
And when you get there, who do you think you'll see, some excellently qualified surgeon who is better than all the rest?

No it's the same old hacks they have at the other filthy house of death, but this time they give you free coffee and tea, only it's not, because they charge you a weeks wages to see them.

And it should also be remembered, if you have a memory, that most of us have already paid for this disservice all our working lives, and now when we need it they simply let you starve to death, or die of dehydration or overdose you with opiates to dispatch you as quickly and as quietly as they can, so that you don't get to cash in your health credits.
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: They can get private treatment at the Ridgeway Hospital It is not free but with a good health insurance, it is not that expensive.[/p][/quote]If you can afford health insurance![/p][/quote]It is a very competitive market unlike the NHS, you can get a good cover for less than a Sky or Virgin TV pack, 2x packet of cigs and for most working people, it is included in their pay packet.[/p][/quote]And when you get there, who do you think you'll see, some excellently qualified surgeon who is better than all the rest? No it's the same old hacks they have at the other filthy house of death, but this time they give you free coffee and tea, only it's not, because they charge you a weeks wages to see them. And it should also be remembered, if you have a memory, that most of us have already paid for this disservice all our working lives, and now when we need it they simply let you starve to death, or die of dehydration or overdose you with opiates to dispatch you as quickly and as quietly as they can, so that you don't get to cash in your health credits. anotherimigrant
  • Score: -1

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