Patients attending the macular degeneration eye clinic at the Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) will now benefit from improved facilitates and reduced waiting times thanks to investment of £240k.
The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) Macular Clinic treats patients who have age-related sight problems such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other retinal pathologies. The aim of the department is to preserve vision, hopefully enabling patients to maintain their independence.
During the 2018/19 financial year UHMBT will invest £19million into improving patient areas. As part of this, the WGH Macular Unit received £240k to upgrade the existing injection room and create a second one.
The injection treatment rooms now benefit from a state-of-the-art air management unit upholding air flow and temperature all year round, ensuring the rooms are always used to their full capacity. The rooms have also received brand new equipment and now feature reclining treatment chairs so patients with disabilities can access the equipment easier. Alongside this work, there has also been an expansion of the nurse injector team, which together will increase patient capacity.
Simon Morgan, Consultant Ophthalmologist at UHMBT said; “In 2011 the department began the treatment of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), now we are also treating other retina patients including young diabetic patients whose vision has been preserved by getting treated with intravitreal injections. When the department started we treated a handful of patients, but today that has climbed to nearly 200 patients per week.
“Thanks to the investment, patients attending the Macular Unit at WGH will benefit from reduced waiting times creating a better patient experience. Staff working at the unit will benefit from career progression and personal development.”
Timothy Bagot, Community Optometrist and Clinical Governance and Performance Lead for Morecambe Bay added; “The macular unit offers a critical service to many of our patients. Increasing the provision for patients to be seen locally and with quicker access is a real benefit to the area and will help ensure our patients receive a truly excellent level of care. The extra investment provided by UHMBT is a welcome boost to a very busy clinic and will ensure high standards are kept going forward.”
More information on the schemes that will be taking place will be shared with staff, stakeholders, and the public as soon as it is available and regular updates on progress will be provided via the Trust’s social media channels and the dedicated page of the Trust’s website at: www.uhmb.nhs.uk/about-us/improving-our-estate-201819