Hospitals praised for saving King’s Lynn patient’s sight

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A patient has praised hospital staff who he says saved his sight after they discovered a serious injury to one of his eyes.

Ryan Ellis is now recovering at his home in South Lynn after undergoing emergency surgery when medics at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) discovered he had a detached retina.

He said: “The NHS gets a really bad write-up. A lot of people put the NHS down, but my experience couldn’t have been better.”

But he is angry with staff at the town’s Specsavers branch, who he claims missed the problem when he went there for an emergency appointment last month. The company says it is investigating.

Mr Ellis attended the Norfolk Street premises on November 25 while suffering from blurred vision and pressure in his head.

But his wife Leanne said he was told he only needed glasses for reading and that his eyes were in good health.

She said: “I called 111 (the NHS medical helpline for non-emergency calls) and they told me to get up to the hospital within the hour.”

At the QEH, Mr Ellis underwent a brain scan, which was clear, and a further emergency eye examination, where the injury, which is commonly associated with high impact sports such as boxing and which can cause blindness if not treated, was discovered.

He said: “They did everything really quickly. Within a day of it being discovered I was back in for my surgery at the Norfolk and Norwich. They were fantastic.”

The couple say they have taken legal advice over their case, but were told they cannot sue, because there had been no loss of sight due to their swift action after the initial appointment.

A Specsavers spokesman said yesterday: “Specsavers takes its clinical professionalism and customer service very seriously.

“As soon as we became aware of this customer’s concerns we commenced a review of this matter, which is ongoing.”