Patients' long wait for eye ops

PUBLISHED: 18:46 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 06 May 2010

PATIENTS waiting for cataract surgery at St Albans City Hospital have one of the longest delays in the country, a new hospital guide has revealed. The report, compiled by Dr Foster, an online provider of health information, found that those being treate

PATIENTS waiting for cataract surgery at St Albans City Hospital have one of the longest delays in the country, a new hospital guide has revealed.

The report, compiled by Dr Foster, an online provider of health information, found that those being treated for cataracts at the St Albans hospital wait an average of 152 days, compared to a national average of 95 days.

According to the Dr Foster Good Hospital Guide, patients being treated for the same condition at Luton and Dunstable Hospital wait 69 days for a cataract operation, less than half the time that West Herts residents are subject to.

MP for St Albans Anne Main said of the results: "It is obvious that the length of time waiting for this operation is falling way short of targets. The positive impact that cataract surgery can have on a patient's life means it is particularly concerning that those in St Albans who need this surgery face such long waits."

A spokesperson from West Herts Hospitals Trust said: "Along with all Trusts in the United Kingdom, we are working towards achieving a total 126-day wait from GP referral to treatment for cataracts by the end of November, in line with the Government target.

She added: "By January 2009 it is anticipated that patients will wait no longer than 14 weeks (98 days) for cataract surgery, well below the Government target.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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