GERALD Parmenter had a ‘bit of an experience’ as he described it when he paid a visit to Prince Philip Hospital with a retinal tear on Saturday (Aug 25).
Following his experience Mr Parmenter wrote the following to Llanelli Online:
Just thought I’d let you and the readers know of my recent experiences. Ten days ago I had bleed in my eye and went to Prince Philip hospital 9am Sat, was checked out and was referred to Bronglais hospital Aberystwyth, as this was the only ophthalmic cover available. luckily my son took me, otherwise an ambulance would have been laid on. When I got to Bronglais I was examined and told they didn’t have the equipment to diagnose what was a serious problem and I’d have to go to Bristol ! Then I was told it would be Moorfields hospital in London!! After much phoning around I was eventually sent to Singleton in Swansea , my son being the taxi. After I was examined there I was told to take the results back to Bronglais. I refused, saying that I lived in Llanelli,so the doctor asked why I wasn’t sent to Singleton in the first place My answer was “you tell me”. I was then taken under the wing of Singleton and had an operation on my left eye 4 days later. I have no complaint with the medical staff in all the hospitals as they were brilliant. My beef is with Hywel Dda’s organisational set up as it was shambolic. I spent 9 hours on the road instead of 25 mins with a serious eye problem. I think my eye is hopefully on the mend thanks to Mr Hill and his team. If this tale is of interest feel free to publish, if not no worries.
Speaking to Llanelli Online Mr Parmenter said: “What I noticed in Singleton was that everything was joined up. Hywel Dda, I wouldn’t give them a booze up in a brewery.”
When asked if he was going to speak to his AM or MP he said: “What’s the point? Hywel Dda are a law unto themselves. Since Prince Philip got built we were promised everything.
“The last fifteen years it has been going down the pan. What’s the point of making a complaint. Would anybody listen to me? That is why I contacted you.”
Speaking to Llanelli Online about the incident Nia Griffith MP said:
“I am really sorry about the experience he has had and that must have been terrifying.
“To be told your going to this place and that place and no one knows if you are going to get any treatment that must have been absolutely horrific.
“Thank goodness he has now had that treatment. Really there must be a better way of coordinating things than this there must be a better way of communicating in today’s world to make sure that we can minimise the amount of disruption to patients and maximise the efficiency of the system.”
The MP said that she had already been in talks with the CEO of the Swansea Health Board. She said:
“That’s exactly what I have been talking about to Tracy Myhill the Chief Executive of the Swansea Health Board last week, that we want the best possible collaboration between Hywel Dda and Swansea Health Board.
“We recognise that for a lot of people here in Llanelli if it’s not available here in Llanelli they will want to look East and we want to make sure they can have access to those services and what we don’t want to see is people going around the globe going all the way up to Aberystwyth and back. This is a nonsense.
“It’s horrifying for the person who’s involved in that and of course it’s a complete waste of time for everybody concerned.
“What really matters is getting that communication right, getting access to those services. I am certainly not going to rest until we get much clearer ideas of how things are going to work in the future and we can give people reassurances that this type of thing is not going to happen to them.
When we asked if it was worth Mr Parmenter complaining and if his complaint would be taken seriously Nia Griffith said:
“There is a point because every time I get asked about something like this I do go and take things up with the Chief Executive of Hywel Dda, if necessary the Chief Exec of Swansea.
“It is important that they know, the people at the top know what’s happening further down the organisation. It’s only when they know that they can begin to put things right.
“They can begin to try and fill the gaps where there aren’t the right services and where they can make sure that where there are the right services they are properly accessible to everybody.
“I understand how very depressing it can be and how people do feel cynical but I do think it is important that we speak up because that is the only way we are going to get things put right.”
We contacted the Hywel Dda university Health Board for a comment. Joe Teape, Director of Operations for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “While we are unable to comment on individual patient cases we are always sorry to hear of any case where patients do not receive an appropriate standard of care.
“We would encourage anyone who has a concern regarding the treatment or service they receive to contact our Patient Support Team by phoning: 0300 0200 159 or emailing: email@example.com”.