Eye clinic on its way

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SCARBOROUGH eye patients will no longer have to endure an 80-mile round trip to York for treatment thanks to the introduction of a new mobile clinic.

The Mobile Community Eye Care Centre was officially launched at Bridlington Hospital and offers a dedicated service for local people with wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Previously over 140, mostly elderly, patients from the Scarborough, Whitby and Bridlington area had to make a round trip of 80 miles or more for treatment at York Hospital once a month, meaning an activity which shouldn’t take longer than two hours could sometimes take a whole day.

The new clinic will cut patient travelling times by over half, also relieving local health services of some of the capacity issues currently being faced.

In addition, it is hoped that the mobile clinic will save the local NHS money in transport costs, as patients will be able to receive treatment closer to home.

Mr Richard Gale, consultant ophthalmologist at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and one of the mobile eye clinic leads, is delighted that he is able to offer treatment and care from the new portable setting.

He said: “The centre is really great news for local people with wet AMD.

“The sight loss that can be caused by the illness is distressing enough, and to then have to travel so far from home to receive treatment can lead to unnecessary burden and distress on patients and their carers.”

Mr Gale continued: “Regular treatment and follow up are vital for AMD patients 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 condition is the leading cause of blindness in the UK and predominantly affects those aged 55 and over. It currently affects an estimated 500,000 people in the UK.