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£250,000 surgical facility launched to save patients' sight

Patients across the county are benefiting from the launch of a £250,000 surgical ‘clean room’ at Worcestershire Royal Hospital’s eye department.

The clean room, which will see around 100 patients a week, opened its doors to patients this week (Wednesday 2 September). It has been specifically designed within a previous clinic area to surgically treat patients living with age-related macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK, usually affecting people over 60 but can happen earlier in life. Wet age-related macular degeneration, which causes rapid and irreversible loss of central vision, can be treated if caught early.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, invested in the facility to further improve its ophthalmology service for patients. Senior members of the eye team, Mr Tarun Sharma, Clinical Director for Ophthalmology and Mr Sam Mirza, Consultant Ophthalmologist also raised £50,000 towards the project.

The new facility allows the specialist team of consultant ophthalmologists and nurse practitioners at the trust to surgically treat patients within the department as a one-stop clinic for new patients, allowing treatment to start on the same day as their initial assessments.

Mr Tarun Sharma, Clinical Director for Ophthalmology said: “We want to provide these urgent treatments without any delays and close to patients’ homes. Although we are trying to minimise travel for patients, some may still have to travel across the county to get timely treatment to prevent irreversible visual loss.”

Mr Jag Gandhi, Consultant Ophthalmologist said “Our department is constantly striving to provide our patients with the very best treatment and care. Having this new facility on-location allows us to provide faster treatment to more patients, which is vital when dealing with these irreversible conditions.”