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​ Patient & Public Partnership Groups face-to-face conversations in clinics

Posted on August 01, 2019

During the late summer and early autumn Alliance PPPG members undertook face-to-face conversations with patients in ophthalmology clinics.  The conversations took place in the community hospitals at the time of ophthalmology consultations.  We were interested to know the views of patients in such matters as convenience, awareness, effectiveness and the quality of care they are receiving.

There is little doubt from these discussions that patients find benefit from being able to access care in their own locality.  There had been concern that patients might see treatment locally as a poor substitute to care at the Royal Infirmary and this is not the case.  In all discussions patients felt that the convenience of a local clinic, where they are seen by a consultant who they would have met at LRI, is the best of both worlds.  In our reviews, clinics ran very much to time and this was particularly of benefit to those who are self-employed, reducing travel time, convenient parking and a much better use of their time.  

Responses from patients in respect of the standard of care was complimentary.  Many patients have attended these clinics for years and have built up a rapport with their consultant.  For others, this was their first visit and they were at an exploratory stage.  In all cases they felt relaxed and were grateful that having been referred by primary care they were able to obtain an appointment in good time in a positive environment.

Many patients were surprised that surgical treatment such as cataract procedures can be undertaken without having to visit LRI.  There is still a need to make clear to the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and primary care that a good deal of work is being done to relieve the pressure on the acute centres.  One of the common comments by patients was to ask why more procedures are not undertaken in the community hospitals.  We explained that everything possible is being done to achieve this with a widening of the range of services likely during 2020. 

John Wood, Alliance Public & Patient Partnership Group Co-chair