New mobile eye service brings vital care closer to home for patients in Hampshire
- Community based mobile eye service will offer patients living in Hampshire and the South Coast flexible and convenient access to essential treatment
- The mobile eye unit is set to alleviate the increasing demands on one of the largest hospital eye units in the UK and improve patient care
- Collaborative partnership between Bayer and the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust will launch the service on Friday 22nd September
Reading, September 22, 2017 – Working in partnership, Bayer and the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS), will introduce a new mobile eye unit to expand and improve access to care for people living with a condition that is a leading cause of vision loss – age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The launch of the mobile service will ease pressure on hospital services to deliver timely and high quality care for patients in the area. Importantly, the community based eye service will provide significant benefits for patients, including reduced travel time, reduced waiting times in clinic, and overall treatment experience.
Patients with AMD require close monitoring of their condition, with regular follow-up appointments to prevent further vision loss. To date, some patients have had to travel up to an hour to access hospital based services at Southampton that have been stretched by increased demand for eye appointments. The one-stop review and treatment eye service will bring care closer to home for these vulnerable patients and ensure it is in line with guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
“Growing numbers of patients accessing our hospital eye services has meant that we have had to re-evaluate how we can ensure our patients continue to receive the best level of care”, said Christina Rennie, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Clinical Lead for Ophthalmology at the UHS “We are excited to launch this mobile eye unit that addresses a clear need of our patient community for services that are not only high quality but also convenient. Currently, there are two New mobile eye service brings vital care closer to home for patients in Hampshire and a half thousand patients receiving anti-VEGF injections for a range of retinal conditions including AMD so this unit will benefit many of our patients.”
The launch of the new mobile service aligns with key recommendations from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ ‘Three Step Plan’, which aim to reduce the risk of patients coming to harm due to inefficient services and delayed appointments. Step two of the plan specifically highlights the importance of improving patient flow and pathways within the hospital and the community.1 This new mobile ophthalmic service is anticipated to improve the eye unit’s capacity to deliver treatments by providing six clinical sessions per week from two separate locations.
Commenting on Bayer’s collaboration with UHS, Lars Bruening, CEO of Bayer UK/Ireland, said: “At Bayer we are proud to collaborate with NHS trusts to implement solutions that improve the delivery of much needed ophthalmology services. The expansion of this community-based mobile unit allows for greater and more efficient delivery of quality services to the people who need them most.”
The mobile eye unit will be launched at Southampton General Hospital. The initial phase of the project will be situated at King's Community Church in Hedge End then will be rolled out at other locations across Hampshire over the coming months.
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University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust Southampton Hospital Charity
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Notes to Editors
About retinal conditions
Some of the most common causes of vision loss include eye conditions such as wet AMD and DMO.[2,3,4] These are conditions that impact the central part of the retina at the back of the eye, called the macula. They are caused by the growth of abnormal and fragile blood vessels beneath the macula that bleed and leak causing problems with central vision. The macula is the part of the eye responsible for sharp, central vision which allows us to see objects clearly, in detail, right in front of us.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.co.uk
University Hospital Southampton
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest acute teaching trusts in England, with an annual spend of £700 million at three sites across the city of Southampton. It provides hospital services for 1.9 million people living in Southampton and southern Hampshire and specialist services including neurosciences, respiratory medicine, cancer, cardiovascular, obstetrics and specialist children’s services to more than 3.7 million people in central southern England and the Channel Islands. Every year more than 10,500 staff, including more than 700 consultants, professors and senior lecturers, see 585,000 people at outpatient appointments, deal with 120,000 attendances at the emergency department and treat 150,000 admitted emergency, inpatient or day case patients. In addition, the Trust delivers more than 100 outpatient clinics across the South of England to keep services local for patients. Providing these services costs £1.9 million per day.
- Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Three Step Plan. Available at: https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/wpcontent/ uploads/2015/01/RCOphth-Three-Step-Plan-FINAL-July2016.pdf (Last accessed June 2017)
- Kulkarni AD, Kuppermann BD. Wet age-related macular degeneration. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. 57 (2005) 1994– 2009
- Boshnick E. Macular degeneration. Available at: http://www.eyefreedom.com/maculardegeneration.php (Last accessed: May 2017)
- Liew G et al. Comparison of the causes of blindness certifications in England and Wales in working age adults (16– 64 years), 1999–2000. BMJ Open 2014;4:e004015. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013- 004015
- RNIB. Age-related macular degeneration. Available at: www.rnib.org.uk/eyehealth/eyeconditions/conditionsac/Pages/amd.aspx. (Last accessed: September 2017)