Helpful feedback about The Outside Clinic (visiting opticians)

July 31, 2011


THE OUTSIDE CLINIC – OPTICIANS

We've just had this very helpful bit of feedback about The Outside Clinic, who advertise occasionally in our ME Essential magazine. They're opticians who visit people in their own homes:

As I am more or less housebound with ME, getting out for things like the Opticians is difficult, however a friend of mine, told me about Outside Clinic, I called them, to see if I qualified, and this week, they came to see me. You need to be housebound with ME to have them come, but they effectively bring their opticians equipment with them.

I had a really nice lady, who understands ME, allowed me to have rest breaks when required.

The cost is the same, as if you go to the optician, depending on what benefits you receive, and if you do have to have your glasses changed, they will bring them to you.

Anyway, I thought, you might like to pass this onto your members, so others can benefit from them, their contact number is 0800 85 44 77.

16 thoughts on “Helpful feedback about The Outside Clinic (visiting opticians)”

  1. I’ve just heard from the person who supplied that feedback. Their ordinary landline number is 01793 642200 – apparently they are based in Wiltshire, but their home visiting services are available UK-wide. The company has close links with Lloyds Pharmacy.

  2. I used them some years ago and had a much more mixed experience. As with the OP, the actual eye test was excellent but, overall, their processes were very inflexible, which made the experience much more tiring than it needed to be.

    When I first phoned up to request an appointment, I was told they would write to me telling me when it would be. I couldn’t choose either a day or a time of day to fit in with my routine. As it happened, I was given the first slot of the day – definitely not my best time of day!

    When my glasses were ready, I was offered an appointment to deliver and fit them which wasn’t convenient, so I phoned to rearrange it. Again, I had no choices, I was just told they would write to me to tell me what my new appointment would be. Again, I got an appointment at a bad time of day for me but felt I really had to accept it, or how long would it be before I got a convenient one!

    All in all, it ended up being as tiring as it would have been if a friend had taken me into the opticians in the village at a time to suit me. I’ve since found that at least one of the opticians in the local town will do home visits for people who are housebound, again at no additional charge, and they were excellent and far more flexible than the Outside Clinic (they willingly offered to come back the next day, with a different selection of frames, when none of the ones they brought initially were suitable).

    1. paulineengland

      My elderly parents who cannot get about used this Company. Although they said the optician was nice and friendly they were actually prescribed glasses that they did not need. When we took them to Specsavers they said that mum had a cataract and no glasses could cure that and my dad’s sight could not be improved. In both cases they did not need the new glasses. Although the firm refunded the money paid (glasses were expensive) it took several phone calls and required me to threaten the company with the newspapers before the refund was finalised. Most local opticians will in fact do home visits and I would say stick to the optician that you know. Use your local optician.

      1. – paulineengland

        We have recently been alerted to the feedback on your site and wanted to post this message to say that we would welcome the chance to deal with any complaints directly. The Outside Clinic is governed by a Code of Practice from The Domiciliary Eyecare Committee and this Code has been endorsed by the NHS, the complaints procedure can be read on our website at http://outsideclinic.co.uk/about-us/legal/code-of-practice/.

        Our Clinical Services Team are always available to take enquires regarding optical health concerns and as standard we always offer a complete refund is any patient is not happy with their purchase of spectacles.

        Please accept our sincere apologies that on this occasion you have waited longer than would be normal to have your refund processed.

        We are disappointed to hear that we have not been able to meet your expectations on this occasion but are pleased you have been able to source an alternative optical provision.

        Clinical Services
        The Outside Clinic

    2. – AllSerene

      We have recently been alerted to the feedback on your site and wanted to post this message to say that we would welcome the chance to deal with any complaints directly. The Outside Clinic is governed by a Code of Practice from The Domiciliary Eyecare Committee and this Code has been endorsed by the NHS, the complaints procedure can be read on our website at http://outsideclinic.co.uk/about-us/legal/code-of-practice/.

      We do acknowledge that we have had some issues with our appointments booking systems and we now aim to minimise booking and waiting times as much as we can. Delays are usually to do with spending extra time with a patient that needs to be referred for example or serious traffic problems and sometimes there is little warning that this has happened. We always call ahead to alert a patient to our anticipated arrival time and try extremely hard to keep late afternoon cancellations to a minimum.

      We are disappointed to hear that we have not been able to meet your expectations on this occasion but are pleased you have been able to source an alternative optical provision.

      We encourage patients that have feedback to get in touch with us directly so we have the chance to respond to them. We can be contacted on freephone 0800 854477 or info@outsideclinic.com.

      Patient Services
      The Outside Clinic

  3. My experience was not good. I could write two pages of A4 cataloguing all the problems. Customer service by e-mail was poor and I’m too ill to use phone.
    Appointment system was not flexible enough from me and I was locked into a time which they gave me. It was not really suitable.
    The opticians themselves were okay but the ‘systems’ did not adapt to individual needs.
    The admin was poor, blunders with my details, requesting feedback of my overall experience when I hadn’t even received my spectacles, etc. and so it goes on.
    I was all the more disappointed to see that their ads continued in Essential Magazine as if this were a company worth recommending. I could not recommend them.

    I found another company.

    1. We have recently been alerted to the feedback on your site and wanted to post this message to say that we would welcome the chance to deal with any complaints directly. The Outside Clinic is governed by a Code of Practice from The Domiciliary Eyecare Committee and this Code has been endorsed by the NHS, the complaints procedure can be read on our website at http://outsideclinic.co.uk/about-us/legal/code-of-practice/.

      We sincerely apologise for not being able to meet your expectations on this occasion, comments about the inflexibility of our system have been passed to our senior management for consideration. With regard to your Customer Service experience with us we have invested in further training and quality auditing to continue improving the service we can offer.

      Patient Services
      The Outside Clinic

  4. I read some negative feedback from a severely affected (as in 100% bedbound) ME sufferer in East Sussex, posted privately in 2008. She said that “after Mum and I had spent days before the appointment getting me ready for it, they rang up a couple of HOURS b4 they were meant to arrive and cancelled. … That was a couple of weeks ago now and we’ve not heard back from them, so we’re contemplating going back to what we did before and just asking our local optician to come out again.”

    1. We hope you and your have been able to source a home visit from your local optician as you indicated. We fully understand how distressing and inconvenient late cancellations can be and we do our upmost to keep them to a minimum.

      Please accept our sincere apologies that on this occasion our service did not meet your expectations.

      Patient Services
      The Outside Clinic

  5. I would avoid this company and I will not be using them again.I deal with them on behalf of a friend. They have recently fitted specs for my friend and it took 4 attempts before they kept the appt. They will only give 4 hour slots and the only choice you get about the time is to refuse the appt for that day.My second appt slot was 1pm to 5pm,I was informed at 4.55pm that they wouldn’t be coming. I could go on but the simplest thing is to avoid them.

    1. Thank you for your honest comments and opinions of the service that your friend received from us. It is with regret that on occasion we are unable to meet our commitments to appointment time frames and we understand how frustrating this can be for our patients.

      Please accept our sincere apologies that on this occasion we did not meet your expectation.

      Patient Services
      The Outside Clinic

  6. Very poor service. Despite making a point of contacting them and emphasising that I should be notified of the fitting appointment for my Father they turned up unannounced without contacting me. My Father needs me there to make sure everything is OK and now we are struggling to re-schedule. Lots of apologies from them but no action. Won’t be using them again!

    1. We have recently been alerted to the feedback on your site and wanted to post this message to say that we would welcome the chance to deal with any complaints directly. The Outside Clinic is governed by a Code of Practice from The Domiciliary Eyecare Committee and this Code has been endorsed by the NHS, the complaints procedure can be read on our website at http://outsideclinic.co.uk/about-us/legal/code-of-practice/.

      Thank you for letting us know that a member of staff had arrived unannounced to your fathers fitting appointment, this is not standard procedure and all our professional teams have been retrained in their alert telephone call prior to their visit and the importance of this.

      Patient Services
      The Outside Clinic

  7. A pretty negative experience I am afraid. I have been helping my elderly mother deal with the Outside Clinic, which seems to be comprised of a mixture of incompetent and aggressive staff. At least three times somebody has left a telephone message to say an optician will visit on a particular day / time and to ‘call back if there is a problem’. However, what they really want you to do is call back and CONFIRM THAT APPOINTMENT – yet the message does not say that, in fact it says the opposite! Also, despite my informing the Outside Clinic many times that my mother is unable to answer the telephone, these messages always say that the person visiting will ‘call ahead on the day’ and then when they can’t get through, guess what, they don’t actually visit the house. On the two occasions I rang to point these things out, I was met with a prickly and aggressive response.

    On top of all that, we also have the fact that, like many high street opticians, their frames are ridiculously expensive.

    1. We are so sorry and very disappointed to hear that this has been your experience of our service on this occasion. This is certainly not what we would hope to provide nor does it live up to our company ethos regarding providing a professional and caring service to those confined to their home. As you clearly have not received the level of service desired we would very much like to review what has happened and why so that we can look to improve. Due to the anonymity of the post we unfortunately have not been able to locate your mothers record. If you could kindly spare a moment of your time by either calling me on our Freephone number 0800 85 44 77 or emailing aftercare@outsideclinic.com I would very much appreciate it.

      We hope to hear from you soon and look forward to getting to the bottom of what has happened on this occasion. Thank you.

      Shawn Warren FBDO
      Clinical Services & Support Manager

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