Ophthalmology patients to benefit from new diagnostic service

A new and improved community diagnostic centre has been set up at Ashfield Health Village to benefit ophthalmology patients at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS FT.

Patients with glaucoma and macular degenerative disease will be able to access a range of diagnostics tests when required, including having a vision test; their optic pressures measured; a scan of their optic nerve; and a field test all within around half an hour.

The service will be run by Sherwood Forest Hospitals and was first trialled at their King’s Mill Hospital during the pandemic. This helped ensure that patients with these time sensitive conditions were seen efficiently.

Following a successful trial, the trust used nationally available accelerator funds to make it a permanent service at Ashfield Health Village.

Healthcare Support Worker, Michelle Tarry, explained the benefits for patients: “The new service is more streamlined and ensures that there’s less waiting times for patients in between their tests. This means we can potentially see more patients and ensure we are providing outstanding care, as we have more time to spend with them, which helps when we are explaining things. It’s definitely a quicker and slicker service for our patients, who can then usually get their results a few days after their tests.”

The ophthalmology patient backlog for those needing ophthalmology diagnostic tests, has reduced significantly due to the effectiveness of the diagnostic services at King’s Mill and Ashfield Health Village.

Consultant Ophthalmologist, Vineeta Munshi added: “Ophthalmic conditions, particularly, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration can cause irreversible visual loss if not treated in a timely manner, so I’m proud to say that we managed to address this by setting up the diagnostic clinics at King’s Mill Hospital and Ashfield health village to see our patients in the most efficient manner during and in the recovery phase of the pandemic.”

The new diagnostic centre is currently open Monday – Wednesday and has been running since the end of July, which has already received positive patient feedback. It is hoped that the diagnostic centre will open Monday – Friday later down the line, as more patients use the service and more diagnostic tests become available at the centre.

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