More people are now able to access eye treatment closer to home, with the launch of a new specialist service based outside the Morrisons supermarket in Cribbs Causeway.
The Mobile Retinal Treatment Unit gives patients from north Bristol with certain eye conditions such as wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) the ability to be treated in a location more convenient to them, whereas previously they would have had to travel to Bristol Eye Hospital in the city centre for this regular appointment.
It is available for patients to receive follow up care once they have had their initial consultation and assessment at Bristol Eye Hospital.
Since January, the mobile unit has been able to treat 90 patients per week and the number of people that will be treated will increase to approximately 200 patients per week over the next two to three months.
Similar services have already been successfully launched at St Georges Medical Practice in Worle and out of South Bristol Community Hospital, with hopes to expand to other locations in the future.
This has been made possible by Bristol Eye Hospital’s multi-disciplinary team partnering with Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, bringing together resources to improve patient care. These changes were led by the Retinal Conditions Health Integration Team (RENOIR HIT).
Clare Bailey, a consultant ophthalmologist at the Bristol Eye Hospital, said:
“It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to bring this mobile unit to the north of the city, modernising our services further and broadening the area where Bristol Eye Hospital are able to provide treatment .
“Many of our patients with retinal disorders need to attend monthly appointments for their ongoing care, so this will make it easier for them as they can be assessed and treated on the same day.
“Morrisons have been wonderfully supportive in allowing us to use their location for our outreach clinic, meaning we can treat an increasing number of patients closer to home while providing the specialist care of the Bristol Eye Hospital.”
Dimitrios Georgiopoulos MD, Chief Scientific Officer of Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, said:
“The launch of this new service in Bristol is the result of Novartis’ ongoing successful collaboration with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.
“By working closely with the team at the Bristol Eye Hospital we’ve helped develop the Mobile Retinal Treatment Unit, enabling local patients to be assessed and treated in a timely manner.
“At Novartis we are committed to working with the NHS to address the challenges facing eye care. We work in partnership to develop services which deliver greater accessibility for patients, increase capacity to meet demand and provide a more efficient use of resources.”