Ophthalmology staff outside of new Yeovil centre

Yeovil Hospital has opened its doors and welcomed its first patients at its brand new ophthalmology diagnostic centre located in Yeovil Town Centre.

This is the second diagnostic ophthalmology centre opened in the county after a centre opened in Taunton earlier this year which is being run by Somerset Foundation Trust.

The Yeovil centre is based in the previous Monsoon retail unit on Middle Street in Yeovil Town Centre – opposite Boots Pharmacy and the Taunton centre is located at Blackbrook Business Park – near Junction 25 of the M5.

The new centres will be able to carry out investigations for retinal and glaucoma patients in Somerset. They have the capacity to see over 20,000 patients a year, between them, in a one stop shop where patients will be able to have their tests and images taken in the same appointment.

Ophthalmology is the highest volume outpatient specialty in the NHS and demand for the treatment of eye care areas, such as glaucoma, cataract, retina and urgent care, is predicted to rise by 60 per cent in medical retina and 44 per cent in glaucoma over the next 20 years.

Mr Paritosh Shah, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Yeovil Hospital said: “This new centre, along with the new site in Taunton, will be able to provide patients better ophthalmology care across the whole of the county.

“Running these centres off-site will mean that patients will be able to get numerous tests and images in one appointment and may avoid having to attend the hospital clinic. This step will help us catch up with the backlog from the pandemic and meet the future rising demand.”

Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil Hospital said: “We are pleased to be able to invest in these two new ophthalmic diagnostic centres in Yeovil and Taunton for our patients.

“The centres will provide patients across the whole of Somerset with better access to eye care. Somerset has an ageing population and the number of ophthalmology patients with retinal or glaucoma conditions increases with age. We also have one of the largest waiting lists in the country due to our patient demographic so these centres will enable us to see and treat more patients and reduce our waiting lists.”

Rebecca Whittaker, Business Manager for Ophthalmology said: “We are so pleased to open the centre and see our first patients through the door. The first two weeks have gone so well, patients’ feedback has been very positive. Patients are delighted to be seen in the new diagnostic centre and have said we are providing a quick and efficient service.”

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