Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Feb 18, 11:14 PM
    • 14,852Posts
    • 41,055Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Cataract treatment - can it really be true?
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:14 PM
    Cataract treatment - can it really be true? 7th Feb 18 at 11:14 PM
    A friend of mine that also moved to Wales recently has been told (via an optician locally - not word of mouth from someone-in-the-street) that she will be made to wait one YEAR between the first eye being done and the second one being done.

    The optician said the reason is the powers-that-be in the Welsh NHS are refusing to take on people for those jobs if they don't speak Welsh and the posts are being left vacant!!!!!!!!!

    I've heard of someone other than the best person for the job being taken on. I've heard of the best person for the job being taken on and made to agree they will learn Welsh (in, say, 2 years).

    I've not heard the situation is as best as refusing to take on anyone suitable for these jobs if they can't find a Welsh speaker and then imposing a year wait on patients because of the resultant lack of staff (instead of the normal 3? months wait between eyes).

    Is that really true? - though I know it is an optician that said it ....so one must assume it is the truth.

    Has anyone any evidence of these posts being left unfilled for this "reason"?

    Has anyone been made to wait for more than 3 months to get their second eye done?
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 07-02-2018 at 11:17 PM.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
Page 1
    • elsien
    • By elsien 7th Feb 18, 11:21 PM
    • 15,845 Posts
    • 39,992 Thanks
    elsien
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:21 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:21 PM
    I'm not sure a high street optician would be any more in the know about NHS recruiting policies than your average person in the street.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 7th Feb 18, 11:48 PM
    • 8,800 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    teddysmum
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:48 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 11:48 PM
    I'm not sure a high street optician would be any more in the know about NHS recruiting policies than your average person in the street.
    Originally posted by elsien


    The Specsavers holder of our nearest franchise works at the local hospital's eye department as well as at her premises.


    Cuts are being made to surgery such as cataract and joint replacement. My husband was speaking to someone caught in this web only last week.


    The lady is not elderly but needs a hip replacement and happens to ride her horses. She was at the hospital ,last week ,and her specialist said things were difficult.


    He asked her for her opinion on whom he should treat, giving her the option of herself, relatively young and having a hobby which didn't help and a 60 year-old lady ,who would be enabled to enjoy walking her dog.


    I know from watching a tv series that there are surgeons who have to make ,not just life improving, but life or death decisions because of shortages.


    A look at wastage, over payment for services and charging those not entitled to 'free' NHS would go a long way to help the situation.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th Feb 18, 7:25 AM
    • 14,852 Posts
    • 41,055 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #4
    • 8th Feb 18, 7:25 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Feb 18, 7:25 AM
    Update on this - my friend says it should be 4-6 weeks between eye 1 and eye 2 (ie that's the amount of time in between operations - from the point of view of the patient having time for first eye to be completely sorted before doing second eye).

    We are in Wales.

    Friend says she was told it would be a year in between eye 1 and eye 2 originally by a nurse and was gobsmacked at the Welsh NHS saying it will be about 11 months unnecessary extra wait in between the two. Hence she then asked an optician and was told the same by him.

    What she has been told isn't "This is because it's the NHS".

    What she has been told is "This is because it's the Welsh NHS - and they are refusing to take on people to do the job because they can't find anyone suitable that can speak Welsh language (ie as well as actually being able to do the job)".

    The problem - she's been told - is the language "requirement" (not the NHS per se iyswim).

    She's been told there are people they could take on for these jobs - but the Welsh NHS is refusing because they don't speak Welsh, as well as having the "necessary qualifications and experience they actually need".

    My friend is someone that didn't believe things were any different here to the rest of the country/was learning Welsh herself at one time for a while (out of interest - rather than being forced to for any reason, as we're retired and so can't be forced to) and is gasping with astonishment about it.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 08-02-2018 at 9:14 AM.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 8th Feb 18, 9:45 AM
    • 2,352 Posts
    • 2,953 Thanks
    unforeseen
    • #5
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:45 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:45 AM
    In Wales it's very much a case of where you are that decides whether Welsh speaking is required

    My HB don't seem to worry about it for the acute hospital in the East of the area as it borders England so Welsh isn't very prominent. However in the West, Welsh is the predominant language especially for the older generation (where it may be their only language) so the majority of staff in that hospital need to be Welsh speakers
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 8th Feb 18, 9:49 AM
    • 7,919 Posts
    • 5,771 Thanks
    pmduk
    • #6
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:49 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:49 AM
    This is how the Welsh pay for their 'free prescriptions'
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 8th Feb 18, 10:00 AM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 1,986 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    • #7
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:00 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:00 AM
    It's an old report but this story seems a more accurate representation of what is going on.

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/concern-cataract-patients-turned-down-1884340

    It's down to cuts. Surely everyone knows how bad things are in the NHS across the nation?

    I've looked at several job descriptions and the criteria to speak Welsh is desirable, not essential.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 8th Feb 18, 11:25 AM
    • 2,335 Posts
    • 6,455 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:25 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:25 AM

    Is that really true? - though I know it is an optician that said it ....so one must assume it is the truth.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention

    It certainly confirms/reinforced a lot of your prejudices if it is true, doesn't it?

    Maybe, like the rest of the NHS, there are posts that are unfilled and its nothing to do with the Welsh language?

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/23/nhs-england-recruitment-crisis-nursing-vacancies

    https://www.bma.org.uk/news/2017/september/one-in-12-consultant-posts-unfilled

    https://www.bma.org.uk/news/2016/december/one-third-of-gp-vacancies-remain-unfilled
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
    • 14,852 Posts
    • 41,055 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #9
    • 8th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
    I can only go by what an optician said - and assume he knows what he's talking about in the situation.

    I do know "that phrase" crops up often in job adverts here (ie the "desirable but not essential" one). Though I have seen adverts. specifying it's "essential".

    What an advert says and what actually happens might be two different things. I know someone who works for one of the County Councils here told me they witnessed staff in an office deciding between job applicants just looking for the answer to "that question" first (ie the one about whether they speak Welsh) and just literally throwing all the applications in the bin where they'd given the "wrong answer" to the question without even looking to see what qualifications/experience they had. They were telling me this eye witness episode because they were so shocked that a lot of good candidates (maybe including the correct person for the job - ie the best candidate) weren't even getting a look-in because of prejudice against them for not speaking Welsh.

    Now I can think "maybe" about a tale I was told this morning by someone about a science teacher getting sacked from a job he already had because of not speaking Welsh - even though there wasnt anyone to replace him and the school landed up without a science teacher because they did that. Person concerned said they'd heard this 3rd-hand and so couldnt vouch for it having happened.

    But when you hear from the horses mouth (the person that told me what my local County Council did - as they witnessed it with their own eyes) or from an "expert" (like an optician) that something has happened = then you believe them they've witnessed the evidence of this sort of thing happening.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
    • wondercollie
    • By wondercollie 8th Feb 18, 3:55 PM
    • 1,148 Posts
    • 8,580 Thanks
    wondercollie
    I worked in a cataract unit foe eight years in the Canadian health system and have heard similar rumours here.

    It totally depends on where you live. In my province, if the second eye requires surgery it can be anywhere from two weeks to six months wait depenion the surgeons list. In the province where my Mum lives, it one eye per year. If you want the second eye done sooner, you pay to have it done privately.

    Resources are limited every where. I!!!8217;ve wondered over the years why some people were even having surgery. I remember one who came from a palliative care unit for bilateral cataract surgery. Palliative care, here, is for people with a 90 day life expectancy. It made no sense to my one that day. We heard through the nurses grapevine that the patient died ten days later.

    99 yo with dementia and bed bound? The rationale was they could enjoy watching television with improved vision.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th Feb 18, 4:15 PM
    • 14,852 Posts
    • 41,055 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I get the point re a 99 year old on palliative care and, to me, my very first thought there would be "Why put them through that - when they've got so little life left. They might as well enjoy their remaining time as best they can".

    Bit of a different scenario when the person concerned is early 60s and lives in a village whereby they need to be able to drive their car (as the bus service is SO bad to it) and they also need to be able to drive long distance journeys at intervals back to their family in Southern England. My friend is responsible enough she has temporarily given up driving whilst she waits for this to be sorted - to which I think "Well the NHS is going to get lucky she wouldnt be someone that would go out there driving again as soon as the second eye should have been done" and will let them restrict her life until it's actually done. Many would start driving again as soon as they "should" be able to....

    Me - I've told her I see her as having two choices:
    - fight them HARD and, with the "reason" she's been given, I'd make it "personal"...
    or
    - pay their bill to have the second eye done privately after the correct amount of waiting (ie just a few weeks).

    If this really is a "language" thing (as the optician said) - she's been told I'll be there cheering her on obviously. She's told me that she didn't believe all the stories I've been relaying back to her (as people told me about incidents)/didn't think people would really act that way basically - until now....
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 08-02-2018 at 4:18 PM.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
    • Beenie
    • By Beenie 8th Feb 18, 4:19 PM
    • 1,115 Posts
    • 1,205 Thanks
    Beenie
    This sounds a policy which could be viewed as racist.

    Asian and African medics are unlikely to speak Welsh, so you are restricting the job opportunities to white people only.
    • brook2jack
    • By brook2jack 8th Feb 18, 4:38 PM
    • 4,095 Posts
    • 3,729 Thanks
    brook2jack
    It is nothing to do with Welsh speaking and everything to do with finances. Betsi cadwalladr in North Wales is the largest health authority in Europe. It has been in special measures for at least the last three years and in financial trouble longer than that.
    Hip replacements are an eighteen month to four year waiting list, cataracts eighteen months to two years for the first and a year or more for the second.

    Yes health boards ask for Welsh speaking but the vast majority of health professionals do not speak Welsh.

    It is difficult to recruit in Wales because pay,conditions,facilities are worse than in England and in eg North Wales places like Anglesey are remote from anywhere and it is difficult to get young people to move there.

    Death rates in North Wales hospitals are the worst in the UK , bed occupancy rates sky high and waits for a and e worse than the rest of the UK.

    But all is good because we have vote winning free prescriptions!
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 8th Feb 18, 5:20 PM
    • 160 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    kirtondm
    Their is no reason she can't drive when one eye has been done as long as she mights the visual standards. Assuming only a private car you only need one eye.

    Pretty sure I would have heard about this if it were true.

    Their is no specific 'time' between eyes it is down to does the 2nd eye need doing and if so how urgently + local trust policies and waiting lists.

    I worked briefly in Carmarthenshire and was never required to speak Welsh ( Most of the patients even the very elderly ones were bilingual )

    Around here the suspended all rotuine funding of catarct surgery for 612 last year all it did was increase the waiting list
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 8th Feb 18, 5:55 PM
    • 23,456 Posts
    • 61,019 Thanks
    pollypenny
    It is nothing to do with Welsh speaking and everything to do with finances. Betsi cadwalladr in North Wales is the largest health authority in Europe. It has been in special measures for at least the last three years and in financial trouble longer than that.
    Hip replacements are an eighteen month to four year waiting list, cataracts eighteen months to two years for the first and a year or more for the second.

    Yes health boards ask for Welsh speaking but the vast majority of health professionals do not speak Welsh.

    It is difficult to recruit in Wales because pay,conditions,facilities are worse than in England and in eg North Wales places like Anglesey are remote from anywhere and it is difficult to get young people to move there.

    Death rates in North Wales hospitals are the worst in the UK , bed occupancy rates sky high and waits for a and e worse than the rest of the UK.

    But all is good because we have vote winning free prescriptions!
    Originally posted by brook2jack


    Thank you, brook2jack.

    Lots of hearsay from money, who moved to West Wales for its low house prices, I believe. Carmarthen is a Welsh first language area. Further along, Withybush Hospital has real recruitment problems probably because it is the back of beyond.

    As for the science teacher story - look further, he is not telling the whole story, I suspect.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 8th Feb 18, 6:14 PM
    • 6,401 Posts
    • 11,543 Thanks
    GlasweJen
    No idea about welsh hospital policies but if you asked a Scottish hospital to operate on a second eye within 4 weeks youd be laughed out of the room! Youre still on post operative drops for 6 weeks after your first eye, then you need your first post op refraction, then you go back on the 13 week waiting list.
    Last edited by GlasweJen; 08-02-2018 at 8:20 PM. Reason: Removing apostrophes
    Bounts, Quidco, Shop and Scan, Receipt Hog, Costco Cashback, Debit card cashback

    NOT BUYING IT
    (unless it's on offer and can get my loyalty points)
    • Doshwaster
    • By Doshwaster 8th Feb 18, 6:32 PM
    • 4,784 Posts
    • 3,906 Thanks
    Doshwaster
    My mum (82 yr old) needs a cataract operation. She was given an estimate of 9 months wait on the NHS. When we asked about going private she was told it could be done in 2 weeks time for £2500. In terms of improving her quality of life that seems to be a cheap price to pay.
    • brook2jack
    • By brook2jack 8th Feb 18, 6:39 PM
    • 4,095 Posts
    • 3,729 Thanks
    brook2jack
    If you want to know about the problems in the Welsh health service two things

    Ex Betsi Cadwalladr health board executive moved to England after she developed cancer as her treatment would not be funded in Wales https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/former-betsi-cadwaladr-boss-mary-9408830

    Read this on how deficits in many Welsh boards are getting larger , despite some being in special measures already http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-41586132

    If you really want to get depressed read the links here on death rates and failure to control infection rates http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-42905335

    Education is in equally dire straits .
    Last edited by brook2jack; 08-02-2018 at 6:57 PM.
    • borkid
    • By borkid 8th Feb 18, 6:45 PM
    • 1,709 Posts
    • 3,358 Thanks
    borkid
    My mum (82 yr old) needs a cataract operation. She was given an estimate of 9 months wait on the NHS. When we asked about going private she was told it could be done in 2 weeks time for £2500. In terms of improving her quality of life that seems to be a cheap price to pay.
    Originally posted by Doshwaster
    That might depend on where you live. I was seen last February by an optician who referred me for cataract surgery. Was phoned and given a choice of hospitals, middle/ end of March saw a specialist then operated on early May so just under 3 months. Follow up was done by my optician.
    • Doshwaster
    • By Doshwaster 8th Feb 18, 7:07 PM
    • 4,784 Posts
    • 3,906 Thanks
    Doshwaster
    That might depend on where you live. I was seen last February by an optician who referred me for cataract surgery. Was phoned and given a choice of hospitals, middle/ end of March saw a specialist then operated on early May so just under 3 months. Follow up was done by my optician.
    Originally posted by borkid
    I'm sure it does depend on where you live. If it had been 3 months then we would have probably accepted it but when faced with not being able to enjoy the summer - when who knows how many summers she has left to enjoy - it was an easy decision to make.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,384Posts Today

9,535Users online

Martin's Twitter