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New Junior Doctor Training launched

OPTEGRA Launches New Junior Doctor Training

Eye hospital group Optegra has further increased its support of the NHS with a new training scheme for NHS junior doctors.

Lava Nozad, 29, is the first to take part in this initiative which allows junior doctors to access high volume cataract surgery, alongside their main training in the local NHS Trust.

Lava is working with Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon Mr Alastair Stuart, supporting with NHS cataract lists.  She says: “I am so thankful for this opportunity, which allows me to learn about and experience high volume cataract surgery.  I love operating, am really enjoying engaging with patients to work out what level of support they need throughout the procedure and working with the excellent Optegra team who have been so welcoming.

“This opportunity, hand-in-hand with my work at the Royal Surrey County Hospital creates a really rounded level of training for me and hugely increases the numbers of patients I operate on.”

The initiative has been praised by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.  Chair of the Training Committee, Sarah Maling, said: “England’s NHS commissioned eye services continue to increase independent sector cataract surgery and it is a necessity to include training in the delivery pathway.

“The College has set our clear guidance and recommendation to support training in an independent sector setting and recognises the benefit of such settings to provide comprehensive cataract surgical training.  Given the reduction of surgical opportunity that trainees are reporting, the College is keen to facilitate access to all training opportunities.

“It is excellent to see that companies such as Optegra are now implementing this, and that the junior doctors are reaping the benefits to afford them the opportunity to secure the vital hands-on surgical experience they need to enhance their surgical skills and improve outcomes.”

Mr Alastair Stuart explains: “Optegra, with its range of hospitals and clinics, as well as the vast number of NHS cataract surgeries which we conduct, provides the ideal set-up for us to welcome junior doctors, and support them with their training.  These future consultants need to gain as much surgical experience with patients as possible, and we can provide that, with direct support to ensure upmost safety for our patients.

“As well as agreeing a plan with the individual doctor, focusing on areas where they want to develop, we also build in time to review each case. The procedures are filmed so we can really analyse and identify ways to improve, which is a privilege to have the time to support in that way.”

Lava completed medical school in Manchester where she also achieved her Masters in Ophthalmology.  She then completed her foundation training in Preston, and a year as surgical teaching fellow in St George’s Hospital. She is now in her third year of speciality training in ophthalmology with Kent, Surrey and Sussex Deanery.

She said: “I enjoyed medical school and the opportunity to cover everything from surgery to medicine to GP work. But the element which excited me most was ophthalmology – though we only experienced one week in this discipline in the full five years of medical school.  Even in that short time, I realised it was a unique speciality with a mixture of surgical and medical work, and with so much variety treating various parts of the eyes.”

Optegra Eye Health Care is a specialist provider of ophthalmic services. Established in 2007, with its first hospital opening in 2008, it has completed over one million eye procedures from its 31 eye hospitals and over 60 locations across the UK, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.

Optegra brings together leading-edge research, medical expertise and state-of-the-art surgical equipment.  It performs more than 140,000 treatments annually, both private and publicly funded. Its top ophthalmic surgeons are renowned for their areas of expertise, offering excellent clinical outcomes and great patient service.

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