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Queen Elizabeth Hospital awarded £3m for new eye centre today

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Today the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn has been awarded £3 million for a new eye centre at the hospital.

The national funding allows QEH to create a new unit, called the West Norfolk Eye Centre, a dedicated ophthalmology outpatient facility in the vacant space within the Emerson Unit (previously known as Churchill Ward) in the Fermoy building, relocating the services from their current location in the main outpatient department.

The increased capacity that will be created with this important development and effective design of the facility, combined with more efficient ways of working – such as developing ‘One Stop’ clinics – will mean that more patients will be able to receive care and treatment more quickly.

Ambulances outside the QEH at Kings Lynn. (53501630)
Ambulances outside the QEH at Kings Lynn. (53501630)

Furthermore, the new bigger facility will be able to respond to the increasing numbers of patients requiring ophthalmology services – something that is set to rise over the coming years.

Opening in spring 2022, the facility will enable us to offer an additional 2,000 appointments and undertake 2,000 more intravitreal (IVT) injection procedures (a procedure to place medication directly in the back of the eye) each year.

Caroline Shaw, chief executive of QEH said: “This is great news for QEH. It is another example of how we are significantly investing in modernising our hospital and in turn further improving the experience of our patients, their families and staff.”

Dr Sam Bass, consultant anaesthetist and divisional director surgery, added: “We are looking forward to moving into the West Norfolk Eye Centre this Spring.

"This new facility will allow staff to work more smartly and more efficiently in new facilities, enabling more patients to be seen more quickly.”

The Emerson Unit is named after Chrissie Emerson, the QEH healthcare assistant, who died last year of Covid. The name was chosen in a public poll.

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