NHS eye treatment services in Dumfries and Galloway have been suspended.
The health board yesterday confirmed that the orthoptics clinic at Mountainhall Treatment Centre in Dumfries had ceased operations temporarily.
A spokesperson for the NHS said: “The orthoptics service in Dumfries and Galloway has been paused for a short period of time in order to obtain guidance and ensure support is in place.
“This has followed a limited virtual review of the service which invited consideration around service pathways and protocols.
“The pause affords the opportunity for review, and to obtain input and support from external third parties.
“NHS Dumfries and Galloway intends for the service to resume as soon as possible, and actions in recent days have been in support of this.
“Referrals to the services are still being received, and clinically urgent patients are being seen during this period.”
The suspension of services came to light after a Thornhill mum contacted the Standard to express concerns after her son’s corrective eye treatment was put on hold.
The parent, who asked not be named, said her son’s eye appointment for this week was cancelled at short notice on Friday.
The only reason given, she told the Standard, was that “unforeseen circumstances” had prompted the suspension decision.
The worried mum said: “My son has been getting patching treatment for a lazy eye. We had an appointment for this week but on Friday it was cancelled.
“I have had cancelled appointments before – but they always gave me a new one the following week.
“This has not happened this time – and I would like to know when my child is going to be seen.
“He had a pre-school eye test and they found he’s got one lens stronger than the other one.
“He got glasses and he’s had the patch for 10 months now.
“Has the treatment for my child been right?
“I don’t know whether it’s doing him harm or good.”
She added: “All I want is some information and clarity about the situation. Patients should be told what is happening and what to expect.
“What precisely is the problem with the service - has it affected my child? Right now I have no idea why this has happened – it’s very, very odd.”
The mum learned orthoptics services had been halted through a friend in the local NHS.
She contacted reception and discovered the information was correct.
She said: “I spoke to reception and all they told me was they are not scheduling any more appointments due to unforeseen circumstances.
“I wanted to find out whether I should continue or stop the patching treatment. But the person said there’s no staff there to ask.”
It is anticipated that the suspension of services will be lifted soon.
The health board spokesperson said: “Details on the full resumption of service will be made available in coming days.
“Existing patients with outstanding enquiries are asked to please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.”