A new mobile eye service has been established in the south of England to ensure patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) receive vital care closer to their homes.
Launched in collaboration between the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and pharmaceutical company Bayer, the mobile unit will service patients living across Hampshire and the south coast.
Established to expand and improve access to care for people with AMD, it will ease hospital resource and reduce travel time, waiting time and improve the overall treatment experience.
To date, some patients have had to travel up to an hour for follow up treatments.
Speaking about the new service, consultant ophthalmologist and clinical lead for ophthalmology, Christina Rennie, told OT: “Growing numbers of patients accessing our hospital eye services has meant that we have had to re-evaluate how we can ensure our patients continue to receive the best level of care.
“This mobile unit addresses a clear need of our patient community for services that are not only high quality but also convenient. Currently, there are two and a half thousand patients receiving anti-VEGF injections for a range of retinal conditions including AMD, so this unit will benefit our many patients.”
The establishment of the new unit meets key recommendations in the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Three Step Plan, which aims to reduce the risk of patients ‘coming to harm’ as a result of insufficient services or delayed appointments.
It is estimated that the mobile unit will increase treatment capacity as it is able to provide six clinical sessions a week from two different locations.