Specialist eye care hospital, Optegra has established a new service to improve support for patients diagnosed with dry AMD.
Expected to go live this month, Optegra’s Birmingham Eye Hospital will offer patients a regular monitoring service, which aims to detect any changes to their condition as quickly as possible, with treatment instigated where necessary.
The service is the brainchild of professor Jon Gibson, a consultant ophthalmologist at Optegra Eye Hospital in Birmingham. He explained: “Many patients that we see in the NHS with dry AMD are understandably anxious to know if their condition is worsening or if they might be at risk of developing wet AMD, and ask if they can be monitored on a regular basis.
“Although currently there is no treatment available for dry AMD, many patients would like to be regularly assessed. The NHS cannot effectively offer this at present, given the other demands placed on it in busy eye clinics.”
The service consists of a one-hour appointment during which they have a thorough eye examination and autofluoresence retinal images are taken.
Professor Gibson added: “We have realised that there is an opportunity to support our patients – both medically and emotionally – by setting up a new service where they can be jointly managed by consultant ophthalmologists at Optegra in conjunction with their own optometrists in the community, and so providing regular monitoring. As part of this process we can keep them updated about progress in new therapeutic developments for dry and wet AMD, that hopefully will proceed to effective treatment for both types of AMD in the near future.”
Following the appointment, patients will have a six-month check-up at the optometrist, followed by a 12-month review at the hospital.
Optegra Birmingham Eye Hospital manager, Stacey Owens, said: “Professor Gibson supports a vast number of patients with AMD, and sees at first hand their concern and worries, particularly about not having an opportunity for regular monitoring. As Optegra has the latest technology available for monitoring and treating AMD, as well as leading consultant ophthalmologists available, this service is one more step to provide assessment and reassurance for our patients, as well as expert advice for any treatment options that may be available.”