‘I don’t want to go blind on a waiting list’

Dianne Thomas
Image caption Dianne Thomas was first recognized in February

A Londonderry lady on a cataract surgical procedure waiting checklist has mentioned she fears she will go blind earlier than getting remedy.

Dianne Thomas, 49, was recognized with the attention situation in February and referred to an ophthalmic specialist.

The assist employee waited till October to see a marketing consultant who mentioned it “could be a year to 18 months” earlier than surgical procedure.

“I worry I will lose my sight while I am waiting, you kind of feel you have been left to rot,” she mentioned.


A Department of Health (DoH) spokesman mentioned it was “unacceptable that any patient has to wait longer than is clinically appropriate for assessment or treatment”.

“The department fully understands and would apologise for the distress and anxiety that long waiting times cause, particularly when patients are suffering pain and discomfort,” the spokesman added.

There is a 13-week goal for cataract surgical procedure, in accordance to the DoH.

Image caption Cataract operations are among the many most typical carried out by the NHS

Cataracts are cloudy patches that develop within the lens of the attention and may trigger blurred or misty imaginative and prescient.

If untreated, the situation is probably going to deteriorate and may lead to blindness, in accordance to the NHS.

Ms Thomas, mentioned her sight is regularly getting worse and each day duties are more and more complicated

“Every day something happens that reminds me I can’t see properly,” she mentioned.

“I live alone, if I fall, and can’t see, there is no one there to help.”

She mentioned she had explored non-public remedy however due to the price it was not an possibility.

“I worry all the time; will I wake up tomorrow and be able to see anything?,” Ms Thomas added.

“There are loads of people sitting like me waiting for surgeries, and it’s terrible, you kind of feel like you’ve been left to rot.”

Image caption Cataracts are cloudy patches on the attention’s lens

The most up-to-date waiting time statistics from the DoH confirmed that on the finish of June a complete of 1,239 folks throughout Northern Ireland had been waiting greater than a 12 months for ophthalmology inpatient and day case remedy.

Since December 2018 all deliberate surgical procedures for cataracts and varicose veins have taken place in new elective care centres in a bid to assist scale back waiting instances for these procedures.

A DoH spokesman added:” Looking to the long term, transformation of providers will enhance the capability of the system to meet the rising demand for care.

“It is for that reason that from December final 12 months new prototype elective care centres have been enterprise all deliberate surgical procedures for cataracts and varicose veins.

“These centres aim to deliver a faster and better experience for patients but as is the case with all new initiatives it will take time to deliver the full benefits.”


Dr Joe McEvoy instructed BBC Radio Foyle: “We see a large amount of cataract issues coming by way of the door particularly as a result of the situation is linked to diabetes.

“We have an getting older inhabitants too and also you hear an increasing number of about folks deteriorating.

“A waiting checklist like a 12 months to 18 months will not be uncommon in any respect. Waiting lists have been on the rise for a very long time so I’m not stunned to hear Diane’s account.

“If a cataract goes untreated for a very long time it may possibly finally lead to blindness. It’s essential that it is checked out as quickly as doable. There’s a resting interval then.

“The frustration is real. People feel isolated.”

To Top
%d bloggers like this: