Nov 07th 2019

West Midlands healthcare Trust expanding eye care services in new partnership

A healthcare trust has teamed up with a GP practice to deliver a sight-saving procedure to patients at a Birmingham medical centre – delivering care “closer-to-home”.

Patients with wet age-related macular degeneration will be able to receive intravitreal injections at Tower Hill Medical Practice, in Perry Barr every Tuesday, delivered by Ophthalmology clinicians from Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.

These injections into the eye help to preserve and can even improve vision in patients with  the condition. The procedure is vital in helping people to stay independent and helps to reduce falls, prevent injury and generally improve mental wellbeing.

The move will also provide more capacity within theatres for more advanced procedures at Sandwell and City Hospitals, which are run by the Trust.

Muriel Gillgrass, 85, of West Bromwich, was one of the first to utilise the new service at Tower Hill. She said: “I came in today to have an injection in my right eye, and it went very well. Everybody is very friendly and it was carried out in a nice room. I’ve never been here before, previously I’d been to both Sandwell and City, so it was quite an experience.”

Speaking after the initial sessions, Muhammad Jawad, Ophthalmology Consultant, said: “By moving this service into the community we are able to expand our capacity to treat patients. Those that have been the first to experience the procedure in this setting have all fed back that they have been pleased with the change. They have particularly been impressed with the quiet and calm environment and the fact they have been seen quite quickly.  It’s helpful for patients, particularly those who live in this area.”

Laura Young, Directorate Lead Nurse for Ophthalmology added: “The GP practice at Tower Hill provides an alternative to patients having to come into a busy hospital, supporting our closer-to-home care vision. The facilities at Tower Hill comply with all the environmental and infection control measures expected in a hospital, whilst the familiarity of a GP surgery may help to reduce anxiety for our patients. We are really pleased to be working in partnership with the Tower Hill practice and look forward to developing our relationship further.”


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