A new £103,000 clinic room which is providing huge benefits for eye patients at Scunthorpe hospital is being officially opened.
The Health Tree Foundation, the official charity of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, donated £68,000 to help fund the project.
The new clinic room has been transformed into a specialist treatment room for those patients needing Anti-VEGF injections; a type of drug used to treat a number of eye conditions including wet age related macular degeneration.
The treatment is injected into the jelly-like substance of the eye and has traditionally been done in a theatre-environment. However, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists says it improves patient experience and service productivity if the treatment is delivered in an outpatient setting.
The room, which cost a total of £103,000 to convert, means patients can be seen more quickly as they don’t have to wait for a slot in the main theatres.
The first patient to be treated in the new room, Andrew Thompson, will be cutting the ribbon on Monday January 21 at 11am in the ophthalmology clinic room which is located on D floor in the outpatients department.
Ophthalmic injectors Khine Aung and Lissa Binoy are providing the service. Khine said: “It is absolutely fantastic that the Health Tree Foundation has supported us with this exciting development for our patients.”
Traditionally patients, who have to attend for multiple injections as part of their treatment plan, have been admitted to the day surgery ward, prepared for a theatre visit, and undergo a period of recovery before being discharged.
Khine said: “Our patients are often elderly and are nervous about the procedure and anxious about having to go to theatre. This new room means it will significantly reduce the length of time they have to be in hospital as they no longer need to go to theatre.
Lissa said the new room also meant they would be able to see more patients in clinic sessions, and it would free up space within the main theatres for more complex procedures to be undertaken.
Patient Christine Garner, of Scunthorpe, has been having the injections for the past three years. She said: “This new room is great. It’s lovely and relaxing, and I was literally in and out and on my way home.”
She admitted that having the procedure done previously was a little nerve wracking. She said: “I think it was the fact you could be waiting for a few hours on the day case unit before they called you to go to the main theatre. That in itself is quite scary as normally you are asleep when you are in one of those.
“The new room has been a lovely experience. It has taken the stress out of coming. The staff, as always, are lovely and so kind and caring.”
Victoria Winterton, charity manager, said: “We are thrilled to have been able to support such a wonderful initiative. It is thanks to kind donations from the public directly to Scunthorpe General Hospital that makes this kind of project possible for the Health Tree Foundation to make happen.”