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King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital opens new eye care centre

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The new, £3 million West Norfolk Eye Centre opened to patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Monday.

It is located next to the Emerson Unit and the eye centre has its own entrance and signage, which can also be accessed through the main QEH building.

Having a dedicated ophthalmology outpatient facility for the first time will enable the team to relocate from the main QEH Outpatient department.

West Norfolk Eye Centre opens at QEH - sign. (56576325)
West Norfolk Eye Centre opens at QEH - sign. (56576325)

Stephen Byard, ophthalmic consultant surgeon at the QEH, said: "The new name reflects the improvements in the centre itself and, importantly, greater working in partnership with our community.

"The West Norfolk Eye Centre will improve the care provided across the area for those with eye conditions and means those who need to attend hospital are cared for in a brand new, purpose-built facility, designed specifically around their needs."

This not only provides a specialist space for patients with eye conditions, it also frees up valuable Outpatient space for other specialties in the main building.

Ambulances outside the QEH at Kings Lynn. (54361798)
Ambulances outside the QEH at Kings Lynn. (54361798)

The increased capacity that will be created, the effective design of the centre, and more efficient ways of working such as developing one stop clinics which will mean that more patients will be able to receive care and treatment more quickly.

With this new bigger facility, it will also be able to respond to the increasing numbers of patients requiring ophthalmology services.

The QEH provides around 34,000 outpatient eye appointments and undertakes 7,000 eye procedures each year for conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, retina conditions, children’s eye conditions and eye emergencies.

The new centre will enable us to offer an additional 2,000 appointments and undertake 2,000 more intravitreal (IVT) injection procedures each year, including eye injections to treat a variety of retinal conditions.

The eye centre will also mean thre will be more clinic and diagnostic rooms.

The new centre will have twice the space of the old outpatient area, with separate rooms for outpatient appointments and diagnostic tests, rather than having do both in the same room and this will hugely improve patient flow through the department and reduce waiting times

There will be separate waiting rooms and treatment areas for children and adults as a result of responding to feedback from patients, parents and the Care Quality Commission.

By having two rooms dedicated for laser treatments rather than one, it enables staff to see and treat more patients in the same amount of time.

In addition there is a dedicated training space for staff, as well as GPs and community optometrists.

The outpatient car park, located on the left when entering the site, is available for patients visiting the centre and Emerson Unit.

There is also a pick-up and drop-off bay, as well as four parking spaces dedicated for blue badge holders.

The satellite ophthalmology services that QEH runs at North Cambridgeshire Hospital in Wisbech are unaffected.

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