Royal Berkshire Hospital cuts waiting times for eye surgery
The Royal Berkshire Hospital is one of three NHS services in three counties that have worked together to reduce waiting times for eye surgery.
Trusts in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire have cooperated to reduce the backlog of patients needing eye surgery. The backlog included some patients who had to wait more than six months after referral and had been made worse by the covid pandemic.
Trust eye departments worked more closely with each other and lobbied for increased surgical activity over a two-week period in January.
More than 700 eye operations were carried out during the two-week surge, with the Royal Berkshire Hospital, West Berkshire Community Hospital and the Prince Charles Eye Unit in Windsor performing 315 cataract surgeries, eye transplants cornea and strabismus operations during the period.
This was about 50% more than usual in the same amount of time.
Dom Hardy, Chief Operating Officer of Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “In recent years we have faced unprecedented challenges and high levels of demand.
“We understand the impact that long waits can have on our patients’ quality of life. We are really proud of the innovative work done by teams like Ophthalmology to reduce waiting lists,” said Mr. Hardy.
One-stop cataract clinics were also set up in West Berkshire, where patients could be diagnosed and prepared for surgery in a single visit, and post-operative care was provided in community practices, away from services. more frequented.
Patient records have also been fully digitized, allowing patients to be treated with greater flexibility.
The reduction in the backlog has left the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks at 31, with the remainder largely due to lack of donor material.
The trusts have worked together as part of the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire Integrated Care System, a partnership which aims to improve healthcare services through the collaboration of many county NHS trusts.