Eye centre plans welcomed
Multi-million pound plans for a new eye care centre in West Sussex were welcomed at public events in Worthing and Shoreham last week.
More than 100 people took the opportunity to discuss the £7.5m project with eye care specialists from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Consultant ophthalmologist, Masoud Teimory, said: “It has been great to share our vision for Southlands Hospital with so many interested people.
Referrals from GPs and opticians having been growing year-on-year by more than 15%
“Many of my colleagues around the UK could only dream of having such fantastic facilities so we are very fortunate to see this level of investment in West Sussex.”
The service will be called Western Sussex Eye Care | Southlands and will complement Western Sussex Eye Care | St Richard’s in Chichester, which has already benefited from a multi-million pound investment in new facilities.
Moving ophthalmology services from Worthing Hospital to Southlands Hospital in Shoreham was agreed four years ago following an extensive public consultation exercise looking at how best to increase quality of care for patients in West Sussex.
The Trust’s eye care team sees more than 30,000 patients every year and referrals from GPs and opticians having been growing year-on-year by more than 15%.
Once the new service at Southlands opens in 2017, it will see more than 3,000 patients every month.
However, its purpose-designed layout means many patients with common conditions will require fewer appointments.
For example, new ‘one stop’ clinics for people with cataracts or age-related macular degeneration will halve the number of times they have to visit the hospital.
The Trust’s consultants and nurses were able to explain these benefits to dozens of patients and other interested people at the public events, while talking them through the latest design plans.
Attendees could also question the Trust’s project team, and discuss important issues related to moving Ophthalmology from Worthing to Shoreham, such as parking provision and transport links.
All the information from the public events is now available via the trust’s website – www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk/EYECARE – and in the trust’s newsletter Eye Care Update, available from reception at Southlands Hospital and in the Ophthalmology Departments at Worthing and St Richard’s hospitals.