Professor Andrew Dick and Dr Clare Bailey, Directors of the Retinal Conditions Health Integration Team (RENOIR HIT) give an update on the HIT's work in 2014-15.
The Retinal Outreach, Integration and Research (RENOIR) HIT builds on Bristol Eye Hospital’s existing regional, national and international strengths. Bristol Eye Hospital has a national profile for the delivery of high quality and cost-effective clinical services. Expanding our services through a modernised system using outreach clinics has allowed the NHS to treat more people closer to home, improving patient choice and making new drugs available via research to people who might not otherwise have access to them.
We have responded to the increase in retinal conditions, by designing and delivering optimal and cost efficient care. Our outreach programme provides equity of care in our community, to allow patients to be treated closer to their home to the same standards they would expect from the Bristol Eye Hospital. We opened a new site at South Bristol Community Hospital in July 2013, followed by a site at a GP practice in Worle, close to Weston-Super-Mare, in October 2014. Both of these services have received excellent feedback from the patients using them. We have secured funding for a mobile macular unit which will visit locations in South Gloucestershire, with clinics starting there in late 2015.
We have developed research and NICE guideline-informed care pathways. Initial consultation and diagnosis happens at Bristol Eye Hospital, before patients are moved into appropriate care pathways for follow-up at one of the outreach locations. Patients are given opportunities to participate in research trials, whether they’re seen in the outreach locations or at Bristol Eye Hospital, with 337 patients recruited into clinical studies in the last year.
We have enhanced our services through the use of modern imaging developments and IT, and extending our team’s skills. We have already recruited, trained and extended the role of optometrists, technical staff and nurses, leading to a more cost-effective delivery of services.