20 November 2014
Bristol Eye Hospital sets up specialist eye treatment facilities from GP clinic in St Georges
A new service, the first of its kind in the region to offer
specialist eye treatment outside a hospital setting, officially
opens today (Thursday 20 November) at St Georges Medical Practice
in St Georges, near Weston super Mare.
The service is run by staff from Bristol Eye Hospital (part of
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust), enabling
patients with specific eye conditions such as wet age-related
macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy to be treated
closer to home.
Initial consultation and assessment will still take place at
Bristol Eye Hospital, but patients can then attend follow up
appointments for treatment and care at St Georges. Through an
innovative partnership with the NHS, Novartis Pharmaceuticals
(Novartis) is supporting the new service by providing funding for
the essential diagnostic equipment required to run the service.
The same service was launched successfully out of South Bristol
Community Hospital in March, and UH Bristol, with the support of
Novartis, will further expand the programme into South
Gloucestershire in 2015.
Clare Bailey, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Bristol Eye
Hospital, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have set up these
clinics in Weston Super Mare. There are many patients undergoing
treatment for retinal disorders who need to attend monthly for
their ongoing care. They can now be treated much closer to home,
with assessment and treatment all performed on the same day.
"Expanding our services using outreach clinics has also allowed
us to modernise our service, helping us to treat the increasing
numbers of patients, whilst maintaining access to the specialist
care that the Bristol Eye Hospital team provide."
Frederic Guerard, Managing Director United Kingdom and Ireland,
Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, said: "Today's launch is the
result of a strong collaboration between Novartis and Bristol Eye
Hospital. We all share the same dedication to the specialist care
of people with eye conditions. These conditions can have a
significant impact on patient quality of life if not appropriately
treated and managed.
"We are proud to work with the NHS to identify solutions which
address unmet clinical need and promote excellence in
ophthalmology. This new service builds on the great work in eye
care that has already taken place at Bristol Eye Hospital."
Dr Mary Backhouse, Chief Clinical Officer North Somerset CCG,
said: "I am delighted to have this important service being
delivered locally. These are conditions that mainly affect
older people and require repeated treatments. One of our
aspirations as a Clinical Commissioning Group is where possible to
have services delivered closer to where people live to help
patients and their carers. It is good to have Novartis and UH
Bristol working in partnership to do this."
Val Denton, Practice Manager at Worle & St Georges,
said: "The team at St Georges surgery and Malling Health is
extremely pleased to be working with Bristol Eye Hospital and their
colleagues in this exciting new venture to bring patient care
closer to home. It is hopefully going to be the start of co-working
with other care providers to ensure our patients receive
the best care possible without having to travel too far."
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