Work begins on £5m eye unit in shake-up of hospital care

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WORK has begun on a new unit to provide state-of-the-art eye care as part of plans for a major revamp of health services in Yorkshire.

The £5m clinical support unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield will house the eye clinic and offices for doctors. It will free up space for nearly 90 more beds for urgent and emergency inpatient care on the site.

Managers claim the eye unit will be a centre of excellence for conditions including glaucoma, cataract and other common complaints.

The extra beds will be needed when the hospital becomes the main emergency unit for serious, life-threatening emergencies and their inpatient care in the Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury area.

The director of planning and partnerships at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Caroline Griffiths, said: “The clinical service strategy has been designed to ensure we can provide high quality, safe and sustainable services for our patients.

“This unit will provide a new ophthalmology clinic, and clinical offices which will free up space for an extra 88 beds that will be moved into the hospital to treat more serious and complex cases.”

Meanwhile, a new unit for patients with problems with their feet and lower limbs has opened at Kendray Hospital in Barnsley.

The biomechanics suite for podiatry patients replaces a facility in nearby Silkstone and will enable more patients to be seen for checks including walking analysis of their knees, hips and feet.

A number of new machines have been installed allowing experts to create more bespoke insoles for patients while they wait.

Manager Bob Senior, of the South West Yorkshire NHS trust, which runs the service, said: “The opening of the new surroundings mean we are now able to offer an increase in capacity and patient turnaround, helping to reduce the time from referral to treatment.”