NHS Dumfries and Galloway suspends eye treatment services


NHS eye treatment services in Dumfries and Galloway have been suspended.

The health board confirmed yesterday that the orthoptic clinic at Mountainhall Treatment Center in Dumfries has temporarily ceased operations.

An NHS spokesperson said: ‘The orthoptic service in Dumfries and Galloway has been suspended for a short time to obtain advice and ensure support is in place.

“This follows a limited virtual review of the service which prompted reflection on service pathways and protocols.

“The pause provides an opportunity for review and to gain input and support from external third parties.

“NHS Dumfries and Galloway intends to resume service as soon as possible, and the actions over the past few days have supported this.

“Referrals to services are still being received and clinically urgent patients are being seen during this time.”

The suspension of services was revealed after a mother from Thornhill contacted the Standard to express her concerns after her son’s corrective eye treatment was suspended.

The parent, who asked not to be named, said his son’s eye appointment for this week was canceled on short notice on Friday.

The only reason given, she told Standard, was that “unforeseen circumstances” prompted the suspension decision.

The worried mum said: ‘My son had patch treatment for a lazy eye. We had an appointment for this week but Friday it was canceled.

“I’ve had appointments canceled before – but they always gave me a new one the following week.

“That didn’t happen this time – and I would like to know when my child will be seen.

“He had an eye exam in kindergarten and they found he had one lens stronger than the other.

“He has glasses and he’s had the patch for 10 months now.

“Has my child’s treatment been good?”

“I don’t know if it does him any harm or good.”

She added: “All I want is information and clarification on the situation. Patients need to be told what’s going on and what to expect.

“What precisely is the problem with the service – has it affected my child? At the moment I have no idea why this has happened – it’s very, very strange.

The mother was told that orthoptic services had been halted by a local NHS friend.

She contacted reception and found out the information was correct.

She said: ‘I spoke to reception and all they told me was that they were no longer taking appointments due to unforeseen circumstances.

“I wanted to know if I should continue or stop patching. But the person said there was no staff to ask.

The suspension of services is expected to be lifted soon.

The health board spokesperson said: “Details on the full resumption of service will be available in the coming days.

“Existing patients with outstanding inquiries are asked to contact dg.orthoptics@nhs.scot.”

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