First patient benefits from sight-saving surgery at new Frome eye health clinic and surgical centre
One of the first patients to receive sight-saving surgery at the Newmedica Frome eye health clinic and surgical centre has spoken about how it’s changed his life.
Jamie Garden, 71, was the first patient through the doors of the new location within Frome Medical Centre, Enos Way, Frome, Somerset, where more than £100,000 investment in new equipment has been installed. Now one of the largest independent clinical ophthalmology service providers in the UK, Newmedica operates from 25 community and GP sites, NHS and private hospitals and mobile clinics in England. Services delivered cover the full range of ophthalmology, including outpatients and surgery, adult, paediatric and neonatal ophthalmology.
Mr Garden had a cataract removed after experiencing a severe deterioration of his sight in the past year. Surgery prevented an increased loss of vision that would ultimately have led to blindness in the affected eye.
Newmedica Frome employs up to 10 staff on a theatre day, including consultants, optometrists, nurses, healthcare assistants and ophthalmic technicians.
Opening this new centre is seen as a big boost for Somerset, enabling many more people to have eye surgery without having to wait months.
Mr Garden had been told there was a lengthy waiting list for cataract-removal operations, but Newmedica opening the Frome site meant he was able to have the surgery within weeks of his first appointment, as wait times for cataract surgery within Newmedica Frome are extremely low.
Mr Garden says: ‘I felt I wasn’t seeing very well, but I thought it was just an age thing. It’s amazing how used you become to the slow deterioration of your eyesight.
‘I was told I’d have to wait 12-14 months to have my cataract removed, but when I went to Newmedica they told me that the Frome site was opening very soon and I could be seen really quickly. It wasn’t until I’d had the operation that I realised just how bad my sight had been. I expected it to be different but not to the extent it is. It’s astonishing.’
Patients are typically referred to Newmedica Frome by a GP or optometrist.
The Frome site is part of Newmedica Bristol, which has a well-established clinic and surgical centre in Clifton and Langford in Bristol.
Julian Phillips, operational director says: ‘We were delighted to welcome our first new patients to the Frome eye health clinic. Mr Garden’s case shows that no-one needs to feel apprehensive about having treatment for their eyesight and I am thrilled that he felt he had an excellent experience.
‘We have a trusted track record of working closely with the NHS to carry out a range of specialist eyecare services at no cost to patients, using the latest innovations from the ophthalmology industry, as well as a dedicated professional ophthalmology team.
‘For NHS and private patients, our aim is always to eliminate any unnecessary delay or worry that people might experience when they’re told they need treatment for a sight-loss condition.
‘We’ve expanded our world-class service to Frome because we want to ensure that all patients feel safe, cared for and are informed about their treatment and able to enjoy many more years of improved vision.’
Newmedica launched nationally in 2009 with the aim of creating a network of specialist eye clinics that link with all optometrists and GPs – revolutionising care and treatment for patients who face the prospect of sight loss. The company works closely with the NHS, providing services for NHS CCGs, NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, and other providers of NHS-funded services.