Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

West Suffolk: Pioneering project by West Suffolk Hospital takes eye care out to the communities

PUBLISHED: 14:09 08 April 2014

Newmarket patient Frank Billam with Stuart McGill, head orthoptist from West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Newmarket patient Frank Billam with Stuart McGill, head orthoptist from West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Archant

Eye patients in Sudbury and Newmarket can have expert assessments closer to home after West Suffolk Hospital became the country’s first to use specialist diagnostic equipment in the community.

The new initiative has seen the hospital launch an OCT (optical coherence tomography) scanning service for patients with a range of conditions that need regular monitoring, including age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Instead of having to travel to Bury St Edmunds for monthly checks, patients can now access the scans at Walnuttree and Newmarket Hospitals. The results will determine how often they need to come to the main hospital for treatment.

The service has been made possible after West Suffolk purchased two state-of-the-art Zeiss Cirrus 600 diagnostic machines with a £114,000 medical equipment grant from Novartis.

Around 50 patients a month are already benefitting, with that number expected to increase during the summer. James Butcher, operational manager for head and neck specialities at the hospital, said: “The whole project ties in closely with our philosophy of providing care closer to home and, where possible, sees us taking services to the patient rather than the other way around.

“Patients in the Newmarket and Sudbury areas would previously have had their condition monitored through regular trips to the hospital, sometimes as often as once a month.

“Many of our patients who have these conditions are older, so to come into Bury to the hospital so often could be a burden for those living further afield.

“Now images can be taken at much more convenient locations and either viewed by a consultant on site or sent back to West Suffolk to be reviewed remotely in a virtual clinic. We hope the new service will save them time while reducing waiting lists by increasing the number of patients we are able to see.”

Over the coming months, the hospital also hopes to start offering treatment in Sudbury and Newmarket, further reducing the need for patients to travel.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

A man is to be sentenced next month after admitting beating up his ex-partner on her birthday and then harassing her.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is seeking witnesses to an incident in Ipswich, after a man sustained a broken ankle when he was hit by a Suffolk Constabulary police officer’s car.

A former heart patient who owes his life to West Suffolk Hospital has backed the £500,000 Every Heart Matters appeal to build a brand new cardiac diagnostic unit in Bury St Edmunds.

A historic west Suffolk town is set to see the return of its market next month after an absence of 20 years.

An Ipswich man who threw a brick through a window at his former girlfriend’s home after their relationship ended has been jailed for six months.

Witnesses to a crash in an Ipswich retail park, which has left an eight-year-old girl in hospital, are being asked to come forward.

A coroner has expressed concern that staff at a Suffolk holiday park are yet to be health and safety trained – more than 12 months after a girl drowned there.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24