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The Worcester Eyecare System

Joined-up working across Worcestershire eyecare system provides best service for patients


The sight-saving work of an independent eye clinic has been praised for the high quality of service it provides for patients.

From opticians to consultants operating on patients’ eyes, Newmedica Worcester’s joined-up working has been described as “designed to help the patient”.

Norma Proctor, 73, who worked in paediatrics and trained at the world-renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital, has spent much of her professional life in healthcare.

She has seen how different elements of the healthcare system can sometimes struggle to connect smoothly, resulting in delays for patients and extended waiting lists.

However, Norma said the close links between opticians and Newmedica Worcester made her experience of having two cataract operations trouble-free.

She was assessed by her daughter, Justine, who is an optometrist in Worcester, and Justine then referred Norma to Newmedica Worcester, an eyecare clinic specialising in cataracts, YAG laser treatment and ocular plastics.

The Newmedica Worcester eye-health clinic and surgical centre operates from the Berkeley Business Park, providing services for NHS and private patients.

It works with the NHS, GPs and opticians to help treat and manage eye conditions, while taking some of the pressure off busy waiting lists.

Norma, who lives in Bewdley, said: “The whole experience has been amazing. There was nothing I could fault. We really are very lucky in Worcestershire to have such talented professionals working in a system that is designed to help the patient.

“I know from experience that in healthcare generally the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing half the time, but that wasn’t the case for my cataract operations. For the operations on both eyes, it all really did go smoothly.

“A friend of mine has been waiting months and months for her cataract operation, which can be stressful. I only waited a few weeks.

“I was able to be driving again quite quickly, which is very important to me because I need to keep my independence and didn’t want to be asking other people for a lift. My vision is so much better now. The eyecare system here is very joined up.”

Optometrist Justine Proctor’s grandfather and father were also optometrists. She did her BSC Optometry at City University in London, and then did her Pre-Reg qualification at the world-renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital.

She has been an optometrist for more than 24 years and runs her own independent practice in Bewdley, as well as working at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Justine said: “As an optometrist, it’s important to know the success rates of the clinics we work with, as it means we can provide patients with the information they need to make the right decision on where to get their care.

“With Newmedica Worcester, when the patient has their preassessment, they get an information leaflet, which is really important. I also like that they call the patient the day after the operation to make sure they’re ok.

“Clear communication with the clinic is important, especially for the patient. I’ve been seeing a lot of my patients for 25 years, so I have a very good rapport with them and they can call me up to ask questions.

“It’s important that they feel at ease, which is why I’m pleased to say that here in Worcestershire, with Newmedica, we have a very professional system that gives confidence to the patient while also helping them to be relaxed in what can be a stressful situation.”

Newmedica Worcester is led by consultant ophthalmologists Tarun Sharma, Malcolm Woodcock, Ranjit Nair, Salman Mirza, Tom Jackson and Matthew Edmunds, alongside the operational director, Josh Raden.

Mr Sharma said: “Everyone’s so professional right across the system. Every day we have communication with optometrists, which then means that we have the very latest and accurate information in front of us when we need it.

“Optometrists are often with patients for their life, so they want the very best for them, and it’s great that the quality of service is so high that optometrists are happy to send members of their family to us, as was the case with Justine and her mother.

“If they have every confidence in the clinics, that speaks volumes about what we’re doing here in Worcestershire. It’s about trust. Every step of the way we want everyone to be giving their very best.”

 

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