A NEW, mobile sight-saving service is set to change the way people in Bradford receive treatment for the debilitating disease Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (Wet AMD).
The service, delivered by Practice Plus Group’s Outstanding rated team, provides quick and effective treatment for NHS patients who have been referred by their optician or GP for treatment for Wet AMD, diabetic macular oedema and retinal vein occlusions.
Patients will be offered an appointment within 72 hours of referral, more than a week faster than the Royal College of Ophthalmologists guidelines.
They will be treated by specialist nurses, with care overseen remotely via internet access by the ophthalmology consultant team, overseen by Karen Goodall, a consultant in macular and retinal disease and National Medical Director for Practice Plus Group- Macular services.
The Bradford service will visit B&Q car park, Leeds Old Road, Bradford.
Practice Plus Group, which runs the service on behalf of the NHS, has invested more than £300,000 in the mobile clinical unit, which incorporates a waiting room, assessment area and treatment room in which patients receive the sight-stabilising injections. The team are based out of the Rochdale Ophthalmology Centre which has been rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.
The service will prevent people with visual problems having to travel considerable distances from their homes for treatment. It will be possible for local patients, who currently travel outside the area to receive treatment, to be transferred to the new local service by their GP or optometrist.
Lynn Ford, AMD Nurse Practitioner, who will be helping to deliver the service, said: “Patients come to us at a time in their lives when they are feeling particularly vulnerable.
“They may have started to lose their central vision, and the thought of having injections into their eye may also cause anxiety.
“Previous patients have told us that at a time when their vision is compromised and confidence affected, trips to large, imposing hospitals can be frightening.
“We bring our service into the community, arranging appointments at the closest location to a patient’s home in a smaller, friendlier, more welcoming environment.
“Standard treatment includes three injections over three months, and further injections as needed.
“We continue treating and reassessing until we are satisfied that we have slowed down and stabilised any sight loss. We also refer patients to other services and support groups where appropriate.
“Some of my regular patients say it becomes almost a quiet moment out of the day for a chat, a relax and they feel better after it. I am sure our new patients will feel the same way.”