State-of-art eye clinic will target UK’s leading cause of blindness

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A NEW clinic will give patients suffering from a serious eye condition better access to care and cut waiting times.

The newly-launched wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) service at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds will lead to a 70 per cent increase in the number of patients seen each week with the condition which is the leading cause of blindness in the UK.

It replaces a service previously provided at St James’s Hospital which has struggled to match soaring demand for care.

The new service means patients can receive assessment and treatment if required in the same room and on the same day.

The £300,000 unit also has a dedicated waiting area and is located with refurbished ophthalmology outpatient facilities including a laser suite and clinic rooms.

Consultant ophthalmologist Martin McKibbin said significantly more patients would be assessed each week. “This is particularly important as the management of these conditions requires regular treatment to ensure the best outcomes,” he said.

Helen Jackman, chief executive of the Macular Disease Society, said the service was “fantastic”. She said: “Regular treatment and follow up are vital for those with wet AMD as monthly check-ups can ensure any changes of worsening eyesight can be detected early and that patients receive 
the right treatment at the right time.”

The development is a collaboration between hospital chiefs in Leeds and drug giant Novartis Pharmaceuticals which provided project management advice
and funding for additional equipment.