Specialist eye unit set to open

A MULTI-million pound specialist eye unit heralded as the “most innovative in the country” will open its doors to patients today for the first time. Bosses say the treatment centre, at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, will help reduce waiting lists while also offering the “highest quality” care in state-of-the-art surroundings.

A MULTI-million pound specialist eye unit heralded as the “most innovative in the country” will open its doors to patients today for the first time.

Bosses say the treatment centre, at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, will help reduce waiting lists while also offering the “highest quality” care in state-of-the-art surroundings.

The unit, which cost £4.3m to build and equip, will offer a range of services to patients, including cataract surgery, corneal grafts and retinal operations – the majority of which will be completed on a day case basis.

Around 2,400 cataract removal procedures already take place at the hospital each year, and it is hoped the facilities available at the new centre will help medics perform even more operations.


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“The new eye treatment centre is a fantastic facility,” said Tony Vivian, consultant ophthalmologist.

“Its clever design and state-of-the-art equipment make it the most innovative eye unit in the country.

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“Our patients will get the highest quality eye care, and will not have to wait so long to get it.”

The centre, which is situated at the rear of the West Suffolk site, replaces the existing eye unit in the main hospital building.

Sophie Pettifer, manager of the unit, said: “We are very excited and pleased to have moved into the eye treatment centre.

“It is a pleasant and spacious environment and gives us a great opportunity to significantly improve the quality of patient care.”

* Medics are now seeking volunteers to work in the centre as befrienders, offering support to vulnerable patients.

For more information about the scheme, contact Geraldine Debenham on 01284 713206.

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