Two new community-based eye care services have been launched in Manchester for people who have been diagnosed with retinal conditions.
Established through a joint working partnership between the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Bayer, the High Street services are located in Cheetham Hill shopping centre in North Manchester and Wythenshawe Civic Centre in South Manchester.
They were launched following requests by local commissioners for more care to be provided in the community. It is hoped that the new services will improve the overall experience for patients by bringing sight-saving care to convenient locations.
Making these services available in additional locations will increase the number of available appointments, which will help to minimise delays to sight-preserving treatments, Bayer highlighted.
The new services are in locations that are easily accessible by public transport and have free car parking. They aim to offer an average appointment time, including assessment and treatment of under one hour.
In Manchester, nearly 3000 patients require a review or assessment for treatment of macular disease every month.
The growing demand for eye care services has impacted the current service’s ability to offer timely follow-up appointments in line with guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
Consultant ophthalmologist at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Dr Sajjad Mahmood, emphasised: “Our priority is always to ensure the highest standard of care, at every stage of the treatment journey, for patients accessing our services. While diagnostic and initial treatment appointments were meeting these standards, we needed to make sure that patients continued to receive the best level of care with timely follow-up appointments. The new services not only respond to this need, but also provide significant benefits for our large patient community with vital care in convenient, close-to-home locations.”
The Cheetham Hill shopping centre-based service was officially opened by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.