A new centre for the assessment and treatment of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has opened at Bradford Hospital.
The Bradford Macula Centre is the result of a partnership between Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bayer.
Consultant ophthalmic surgeon, Helen Devonport, told OT that a lack of capacity was the main driving force behind the development of the new unit.
The new clinic takes patients five days a week, compared to two and a half days a week previously.
The new centre makes a “huge difference” to patients, Ms Devonport emphasised.
“Patients get their first appointment within two weeks of referral which means they are likely to get a better outcome. We all know the sooner we get started with the treatment of AMD, the better the outcome,” she elaborated.
Waiting times for follow up appointments had also decreased, Ms Devonport shared.
“Patients worry if they are going longer than the doctor or the optometrist that saw them has suggested. It has taken away that worry in between visits for patients,” she added.
There is one optometrist working at the centre, and Ms Devonport highlighted that more optometrists may work at the unit in the future.
“We have two spare clinic rooms in addition to those that are being used currently,” she shared.
An optical coherence tomography scanner funded by Bayer is in place at the unit.
Ms Devonport emphasised that the atmosphere of the clinic had improved in the new building.
“The waiting room is not as crowded and the patient’s transit time through the department is quicker because it has been planned specifically for the flow of macular patients,” she observed.