Customer praises Hemel opticians for saving his sight

Resident Ian Smith is hugely grateful to the clinical team at his local opticians for saving his sight.
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Following a telephone triage call with the Specsavers Hemel Hempstead store, Mr Smith was booked in for an emergency eye appointment later that afternoon.

During the consultation, senior optometrist Amy Patel found out he had knocked his head a few days before seeing her and was subsequently experiencing loss of vision over part of his right eye. Ms Patel carried out various diagnostic tests that revealed Mr Smith had a detached retina, which needed urgent treatment.

Ms Patel then emailed the Ophthalmic Departments at Stoke Mandeville and Watford General Hospital. However, she was advised there wasn’t a Vitreoretinal (VRE) Surgeon available at Stoke Mandeville, so a call was made to Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS FT. Mr Smith was then scheduled for a VRE procedure the next morning. Due to the urgency of the appointment, Amy followed up with Moorfields Eye Hospital to ensure his appointment had been booked in.

Khia Bernard, Customer Services, Amy Patel, Senior Optometrist and Vladimir Bursuc, Optical AdvisorKhia Bernard, Customer Services, Amy Patel, Senior Optometrist and Vladimir Bursuc, Optical Advisor
Khia Bernard, Customer Services, Amy Patel, Senior Optometrist and Vladimir Bursuc, Optical Advisor

Mr Smith says: ‘I was given a referral letter for Moorfields by Amy, and I had an appointment booked at the VRE Clinic. However, because I was concerned about my eye, I arrived first thing on the Sunday morning before the clinic was open. So the team assessed me in the Accident and Emergency Department, before being taken to the clinic where I met the Consultant VRE Surgeon. About an hour later, the operation took place, with the surgeon placing a gas bubble in my right eye.’

Following recovery at his Hertfordshire home, Mr Smith continues: ‘Amy called me a few days after the operation to find out how I was doing. Several months on, I am delighted to say that I have now made a full recovery and have been discharged from Moorfields. I have also had my follow-up appointment with Amy.

‘I am so extremely grateful to Amy and the Specsavers staff who arranged my appointment so quickly, as well as to the staff at Moorfields. The service I received from everyone was excellent. I honestly believe the prompt action from the emergency sight test to the operation the next day saved the sight in my right eye. I cannot praise and thank everyone enough.’

Shane Abbas Bhimani, Specsavers Hemel Hempstead and London Colney Clinical Director says: ‘We are very pleased that we could provide Mr Smith with such valuable eye care service at such short notice, as well as rapidly liaising with hospital emergency eye departments, enabling Mr Smith's sight to be saved.

‘Our emergency eyecare appointments are designed for patients who may experience unexpected symptoms and we encourage those affected to not ignore them. Our accessible location and opening times mean we can offer these appointments alongside regular sight tests seven days a week.’

Specsavers Hemel Hempstead Senior Optometrist Amy Patel comments: ‘Our Enhanced Optical Service eye appointments are crucial for patients, as being present at the right time can make a significant impact on potentially saving somebody’s sight.

‘We're delighted to share that Mr Smith's prompt diagnosis and treatment for retinal detachment led to a successful recovery, highlighting the importance of timely medical attention. We wish Mr Smith well.’

You can discuss any eye or hear care queries with the team at Specsavers Hemel Hempstead who are located at 252-254 Marlowes. You can either call them on 01442 212 141 or you can book an appointment online: