NHS fast-track ophthalmology service opens in Bristol

DAME Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, has returned to her Bristol roots to give her backing to the launch of a community eye health clinic and surgical centre in Clifton.

The Newmedica clinic in Litfield House is available to both NHS and private patients with the aim of offering greater choice, reduced waiting times for ophthalmology services, a more convenient location in the community and dedicated state-of-the-art facilities.

In November 2016 Specsavers, the largest optometry provider to the NHS, made a major investment in a partnership with Newmedica to improve eye health services for patients in the community.

Headed up by clinical directors and consultant ophthalmologists Jeremy Diamond and Will Sheehan and operational director, Julian Phillips, the Newmedica team is working in conjunction with the NHS, local optometrists and GPs to offer a highly professional fast track community ophthalmology service.

‘I’m always thrilled to come back to Bristol but particularly pleased to be here to support the Newmedica team with the clinic launch,’ says Dame Mary. ‘It’s such a fantastic service that is available to everyone, helping to give people more choice so that they are able to have surgery or treatment sooner.’

All treatment and care offered at the clinic is consultant-led, with services including cataract surgery and glaucoma management.

‘Our focus is to offer patients the highest quality eyecare - accessible and affordable for all - in a state-of-the-art, clean and comfortable environment,’ says Jeremy. ‘Patients are referred to the clinic by their local optician or GP and return to their optician after treatment. Most come from the Bristol area but the clinic also sees patients from North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES).

‘The contract with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) covers outpatient consultations and diagnostic scans, cataract surgery, YAG laser capsulotomy (a laser treatment that helps improve vision after cataract surgery), oculoplastics (reconstructive and plastic surgery on the eyelids and structures around the eye), treatment for glaucoma, peripheral iridotomy and medical retina (excluding AMD) services. Approximately 500 patients are treated at the clinic every month and the average waiting time is four weeks from receipt of referral to treatment.’

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