Plans for dormant Nightingale Hospital to boost ophthalmology capacity in Bristol

The University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust has detailed plans to create a diagnostic hub that would assess 250 eye patients daily

SP beds
Pixabay/Silas Camargo Silão
Around 250 glaucoma, cornea and medical retina patients could receive diagnostic scans each day at a hospital that was created to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic before being put on standby.

Papers presented to the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust virtual board meeting on 29 September describe plans to invest £2 million transforming part of the Nightingale Hospital Bristol into an ophthalmology diagnostic hub.

Nightingale Hospital Bristol was built in three weeks to provide additional intensive care capacity following the outbreak of COVID-19 but was never used.

Board papers note that the need to maintain social distancing within waiting rooms has resulted in a significant reduction in clinic volume within ophthalmology outpatient services.

As part of efforts to mitigate the impact of this, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust is exploring the use of “alternative clinical environments” to deliver outpatient care.

As well as the creation of a diagnostic hub at Nightingale Hospital Bristol, the trust is investigating the feasibility of developing an ophthalmology outpatient facility at the Galleries Shopping Centre in Broadmead.