A hospital has apologised to a teacher with an eye condition which caused his sight to deteriorate rapidly, after he was initially told he would not be seen for 13 weeks.

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Laurence Cross is struggling to see out of one of his eyes due to a mystery condition which leaves it very sore, watery and stinging.

The 38-year-old went to see his optician first, and was given some antibiotic eye drops and told to return in a couple of weeks.

When he went back, Mr Cross said his optician was horrified to measure the deterioration in that eye, and recommended he see a hospital specialists as a matter of urgency.

However, Mr Cross said that after being referred by his GP, five or six weeks passed and he then received a letter from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital telling him he would have to wait 13 weeks before being seen.

He said: “I was told there was a real need for urgency with this and I sometimes have to walk around with one eye shut.”

He has now been told by the hospital that his referral was only received on June 29, and that urgent cases like his would be seen within four weeks.

A hospital spokeswoman said: “We have contacted Mr Cross to confirm these arrangements and apologise for any confusion. If patients are concerned about their appointments or feel they need treatment more quickly, they can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01603 289036.”

Mr Cross, who teaches at a Norwich school and lives in New Costessey, contacted the Evening News with his concerns over the waiting list after reading how in April only 82.3pc of trauma and orthopaedics patients at the N&N were being treated within the 18-week NHS target, compared to the operational standard of 92pc.

When grandmother-of-four Julia Bradbury was told in March that her wait for a new hip at the N&N would be six to eight months, she decided to pay for it to be carried out privately at the same hospital, at a cost of £10,500.

The 77-year-old, from Diss, said: “I was already taking the maximum pain relief of eight paracetamol per day and really could not carry on. I asked if there were any alternatives which would be quicker and was told ‘no’. So I decided that I would pay privately for the treatment.”

She has made an official complaint to the hospital about the time she was expected to wait and says she wishes she was warned by her GP about the long wait when she was first referred last December, so she could have arranged to have the private operation months earlier.

N&N medical director professor Krishna Sethia said: “We are sorry that Mrs Blackburn could not be treated at an earlier date. We fully appreciate that patients wish to be seen promptly and we are working hard to bring down waiting times in all specialties. The waiting time for hip replacements in Norwich is falling and we are confident that the hard work of all our staff will result in further improvement.”

8 comments

  • Interesting to see Orthopaedics mentioned. I injured my knee in january, and after my surgery and the walk in centre told me it would be fine, after six weeks of pain I went to casualty. Four hour wait there, only to be told to come back four days later. It is now six months later and although I have (after complaining on twitter) had an MRI scan (at Cromer), I STILL have not actually managed to see a specialist (although I did get ten minutes with an assistant and a student). This, by the way is an old injury that meant I was under the care of an Orthopaedics specialist all my life (I'm 42). Until I got to Norfolk - which is when I was told there is no need any more and taken off the list.

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    norwichred

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

  • Immigration is indeed the obvious problem. It's the "Elephant in the room" that the PC brigade refuse to accept. No jobs and now crowded hospitals too. Thanks EU.

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    Scania

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • Funny .Last time i was in hospital , NNUH and Addenbrookes , i did not spot a single of these EU migrants occupying a bed . Not one. Spotted many amongst the staff ... nurses , doctors , porters. They were all excellent , and spoke better English and had better manners than most of the true born half wits you see wandering around the streets of Norfolk.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

  • So the European Migrants come over here with Medical Problems (which they would have to pay for in their own Country) and get treated that is what is clogging up the NHS.

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    turnover

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • Funny but I have had 2 posts removed as offensive ie I took umbridge at the racist comments on this thread.Yet those racist comments are still alowed to remain.frankly I find it offensive that contributors blame foreign migrants for the Goverments lack of investment in our health service.

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    terminator

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

  • Should further comment, however, that I DO NOT agree with the borderline racist comments others have made - and also should comment when I got a detached retina the eye department were brilliant.

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    norwichred

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

  • If the walk in centres in the GY area are anything to go by it is migrants from well outside the EU who are availing themselves of the NHS services.

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    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • sad, but to be expected with the huge rise in population and influx of European migrants who only rightly need as much treatment as anyone else, I am sure we would all be happy to wait a little longer if it means the NHS can treat more people

    Report this comment

    blister

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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