Patients can access care from Moorfields Eye Hospital at 32 sites across London – and NHS England hopes other hospitals will be able to learn from this example.
Moorfields has been granted £500,000 of NHS England vanguard funding to develop a toolkit that will enable other hospitals to create a network of sites across a community in which they can offer specialised or general care.
The toolkit will be launched in April 2017, Moorfields strategy and business development director, Johanna Moss, highlighted.
She told OT: “Over the last 20 years, [Moorfields has] started to work in partnership with other hospitals, where we take over responsibility for providing ophthalmology services on their sites.”
She emphasised that patients are “extremely positive” about Moorfields’ current network of hubs in community hospitals, as well as High Street optometry practices and multi-disciplinary clinics.
“Patients tell us they like going into their local hospital and not having to travel into central London,” she said.
The initiative also kept ophthalmology departments running that may have had to otherwise scale back or close, Ms Moss explained.
Moorfields is currently working with ophthalmology colleagues, including those at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, and non-ophthalmology peers to develop the toolkit, but hopes to reach out to other clinicians, patients and patient groups interested in becoming involved, Ms Moss highlighted.
She added: “It’s being led by Moorfields, but we’ve been really keen to work with and learn from others.”
NHS vanguard funding is granted to projects to improve healthcare, prevent health conditions and save money.