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Taunton macular service improves patient care

Following new measures, the department is now seeing patients within the recommended timeframes

Musgrove Park Hospital

The macular service offered at Musgrove Park Hospital has undergone improvements to ensure it sees and treats more patients within the recommended timeframes.

The project, which was completed in partnership between Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Bayer, has resulted in a new imaging system and a redesigned patient pathway meaning people are spending less time in the clinic and returning home sooner.

Provisional audit data shows that the patients referred to the service for screening are now being seen within national guidance timelines owing to the increased number of available treatment slots.

Consultant ophthalmologist at Musgrove Hospital, Shantanu Gudsoorkar, explained that prior to the improvements, due to the greater elderly population in Somerset, the service struggled with its increasing demand, which resulted in a long waiting list, and delayed diagnosis and follow-up.

The new wide field imaging system allows for quicker and wider imagery, which the service has highlighted is “hugely beneficial” to patients with inflammatory eye conditions such as uveitis.

Reflecting on the changes, Mr Gudsoorkar said: “We are thrilled to already be reaping the benefits from the introduction of our new imaging system and new patient pathways using virtual clinics. These improvements are ensuring that more patients are being seen in a timely manner and also reducing the need for out of area referrals.”

Head of patient access at Bayer UK, Amanda Cunnington, added: “With continued pressure on NHS capacity, we are proud to be able to partner with NHS Trusts like Taunton & Somerset to address some of the key challenges in delivering vital retinal services to those who need them most.

“By collaborating to develop customised approaches that meet the needs of local patients and improve their access to state-of-the-art facilities, we’re able to help ophthalmology health services in delivering high quality patient care and improving patient outcomes.”