State-of-the-art technology offers improved care for patients in Taunton
Reading, August 31st, 2018 – In response to pressures on hospital eye service capacity, the ophthalmology team at Musgrove Park Hospital, part of Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, has successfully implemented service improvements, which allow more patients to be seen and treated within recommended timelines. The redesign of the Macular Service was supported through a joint working project involving Bayer and Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.
“Two of our biggest challenges were that our Medical Retinal service had a long waiting list which delayed time to diagnosis and follow up for many patients. Due to greater elderly population in Somerset, there is an ever increasing demand on the Macular treatment service. We also lacked the equipment to assess some of these patients appropriately on-site”, explained Mr Shantanu Gudsoorkar, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, when commenting on the need for review of care delivery by the Macular Service. “We are thrilled to already be reaping the benefits from the introduction of our new imaging system and new patient pathways using virtual clinics. These improvements are ensuring that more patients are being seen in a timely manner and also reducing the need for out of area referrals.”
The availability of a new imaging system and a redesigned patient pathway means people with eye conditions in Taunton are now spending less time in clinic and returning home sooner than before the service improvements were introduced. In contrast to previous cameras, the use of wide-field imaging allows quicker, wider and better acquisition of vital eye imagery. With the virtual clinic set-up and remote review of detailed images by consultants, the Taunton Macular Service is now delivering quicker appointments and diagnoses, increased on-site capacity for urgent patients and better quality of care. This widefield imaging system is hugely beneficial to patients with inflammatory eye conditions (uveitis).
Provisional audit data show that the virtual clinics for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a progessive condition that affects central vision – have improved the efficiency of injection clinics. Furthermore, people with diabetic macular oedema (DMO) – a diabetic eye disease which is a leading cause of blindness registration among working age adults in England and Wales1 – referred from screening are now being seen within national guidance timelines owing to the increased number of available treatment slots.
Commenting on Bayer’s contribution to the Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust joint working project, Amanda Cunnington, Head of Patient Access at Bayer UK, “With continued pressure on NHS capacity, we are proud to be able to partner with NHS Trusts like Taunton & Somerset to address some of the key challenges in delivering vital retinal services to those who need them most. By collaborating to develop customised approaches that meet the needs of local patients and improve their access to state-of-the-art facilities, we’re able to help ophthalmology health services in delivering high quality patient care and improving patient outcomes.”