Faye Mellington

Eye Consultant

After travelling the world, Eye Consultant at the Birmingham Midland Eye Centre (BMEC) Faye Mellington has seen at first hand the tragic experiences of people without good access to healthcare.

She explained: “I’ve been very lucky to have been able to travel and practice medicine abroad in countries such as Australia, Indonesia, Kenya and South Africa, to name a few”

“My experience has actually helped to shape my views as I realise how fortunate we are to live in the UK with access to our excellent NHS.  During my medical training, I spent my medical elective in Indonesia where I treated patients who often presented with advanced disease because they could not access healthcare any earlier. It really made me appreciate the high standard of care that the NHS provides and highlighted how lucky we are to be able to access medical help close to home, without having to walk miles and miles. No wonder our NHS is envied around the world.”

Faye graduated from Oxford University Medical School with first class medical degree. She then developed her interest in Ophthalmology (the study and treatment of diseases and disorders of the eyes) during a year spent working in Australia. She underwent Ophthalmology training in London and Oxford before going on to subspecialist training in Oculoplastic and Orbital surgery in Oxford, Birmingham (BMEC) and the world famous Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. Ms Mellington’s hero is the world-renowned eye surgeon Professor Geoffrey Rose, who she has had the privilege of training under. She said: “Professor Rose has such remarkable surgical skills and knowledge. He is inspirational. He also has such a wonderful sense of humour which helps to diffuse stressful situations.”

Faye is now a Consultant in Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery at BMEC – part of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust. Her main focus is on disorders of the eyelids, tear drainage system, orbit (eye socket). Her work includes reconstruction and rehabilitative surgery for example after trauma or tumours.

She explained: “I find my area of work both exciting and challenging as I get to treat many complicated cases. Ophthalmology as a whole involves both medical and surgical treatments which add breadth and variety to the speciality. I enjoy tailoring treatments and adopting different approaches and techniques for patients because everybody requires individualised care.

“My work as an eye surgeon is very rewarding. It is a privilege to be able to work with patients to save their sight and manage their eye conditions to minimise discomfort. In particular I enjoy rehabilitative work – improving the appearance of eyes and eyelids damaged by disease to restore patients’ confidence to enable them to lead a normal life again without being so self-conscious about their appearance.”

Faye was delighted to return to BMEC to take up her Consultant post.  She enjoys working in such a welcoming and friendly environment.  She said: “The staff at BMEC form a great team: they are all extremely dedicated to their jobs. This is a great support for me. I love the fact that many different specialties can work together so everyone can share knowledge and skills. This really helps us to provide the best care for our patients.

“Just a few weeks ago, our on call eye theatre team helped to treat a young boy whose eye was severely injured. He was brought in to our Emergency Department on a Saturday afternoon. He was rapidly assessed and treated. This was a difficult situation as he was so young and had a devastating eye injury. The child was taken to theatre and the specialist on call eye theatre team worked through the night to try to save his right eye. The procedure started as soon as he was fit enough to have a general anaesthetic and finished past midnight. The whole eye theatre team demonstrated such compassion and dedication. They helped to comfort the child’s parents and facilitated the rapid and optimal management of the case. It was a pleasure to be part of the team.”

“We felt the trauma that his family went through as we put all our efforts into helping him. We kept the family fully informed and aware of the grave outlook for the child’s eye. Now the child is pain-free and doing very well.”

When asked what part of her job she enjoys the most, Miss Mellington said: “I just love to see patients’ smile after their surgery, and hear how they have resumed normal day to day life. Knowing that I have played a small part in enabling this makes all the difference. It is a joy to be able to accompany our patients on their journey from diagnosis to discharge.”

Miss Mellington divides her time between Oxford and Birmingham. She enjoys playing tennis, gardening and spending time with family and friends.