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Eye issues to be spotted sooner thanks to new dedicated clinic

Eye issues to be spotted sooner thanks to new dedicated clinic

This August will see a new eye clinic open in South Woodham Ferrers, helping speed up patient appointments and spot eye issues much sooner.

That means it will be quicker to diagnose and treat blinding eye conditions such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.

It builds on the success of the state-of-the-art Ophthalmology Diagnostic Hub that opened in Orsett Hospital in March, over 2000 patients have benefited from the service since it opened. A significant number have had follow up treatment or have needed close monitoring, potentially saving their sight from deterioration.

And patients have already started to be invited to appointments to the forthcoming Hub at the Tyler’s Ride site in South Woodham Ferrers.

Dr Aman Chandra, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Trust, said: “The opening of a further diagnostic hub will really speed up things for patients and help us get through our patient waiting list more quickly.

“These clinics are set up specially to diagnose people with Glaucoma and retina conditions, ensuring we reduce sight loss by reducing the waiting time to be seen and helping us identify people who may need treatment to reduce any impact on their sight much sooner.”

The Trust has introduced these two new clinics to allow more patients to be seen and to help improve the patient experience.

Patients will have all their tests and diagnostics completed at the same time by a technician or nurse. If there are any concerns related to their eye condition these are fed back to the doctors reviewing the results, with patients then contacted by the reviewing doctor by letter or phone and informed of the findings and any change to treatment.

This new way of testing reduces the time each patient spends in clinic and the number of face-to-face visits, which makes the patient journey and experience more efficient. Patients may only need to attend once and either be discharged or referred back to their local hospital for ongoing treatment.

Dr Aman Chandra, said: “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far at Orsett, with patients preferring the shorter waiting times compared to the traditional clinics. Other eye hospitals, including Moorfields Eye Hospital, have been using similar clinics to reduce waiting times and prevent blindness and this has proved successful. The Trust is hoping this new clinic in South Woodham Ferrers will be equally as popular.”

Linda Bines from Basildon, who has benefited from the new service at Orsett said: “I was referred from Specsavers – the staff there were really good.

“I attended the Orsett Diagnostic Hub- and was made to feel so welcome and cared for by the staff (from arrival to departure). They were efficient and caring. They spoke to me like I was a real person and not a number and I would recommend any patient coming for diagnostics to come here.”

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