Changes to eye service start on Monday

CHANGES are being brought in to an in-demand service for patients with deteriorating eyesight.

The number of people with wet age-related macular degeneration has increased fourfold in the last two years and the number of patients diagnosed with the condition continues to increase.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said this had led to a ‘tremendous’ demand on the service run at the Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne’s DGH.

It added space was limited and there were problems with the availability of specialist staff.

A specialist unit at Bexhill Hospital will start from Monday (January 13).

From this date patients will still have their initial examination and first three injections at either the DGH or Conquest with follow-up treatment at Bexhill Hospital.

Shahram Kashani, consultant ophthalmologist, said: “Currently we have around 700 patients being treated for this condition and are finding it difficult to keep up with all the appointments required.

“We have reached a point where we have to ensure the service continues to be safe.”

The condition affects the retina in the eyes.