Patients and Optometrists from around Kent joined staff at the Care UK run Will Adams NHS Treatment Centre, in Gillingham, to celebrate the first anniversary of providing cataract surgery.
In all, 912 procedures were carried out on NHS patients at the Centre in the year to March and that figure has now gone over the one thousand mark. It is a service that has been welcomed by patients from all over Kent, such as 82-year-old Eric Baker, who was treated on the very first day.
“I was scared stiff at first,” admitted Mr Baker, from Rainham. “But they took such good care of me here. The nursing staff and everyone were wonderful - I could not have had better treatment.”
Mr Baker (pictured) went on to have his other eye treated a few months later. As one of the guests of honour, Mr Baker cut a special cake to mark the first anniversary.
The evening featured a presentation from leading ophthalmic consultant, Frank Ahfat, outlining some of the complications that can occur in cataract surgery. Dr Susan Blakeney, Optometric Advisor to Kent and Medway Primary Care Trust spoke on cataract accreditation and re-accreditation and the cataract care pathway.
Jane Higgins, General Manager of the Will Adams NHS Treatment Centre, stressed the importance of the evening for optometrists.
“I was delighted to see such a good turnout,” she said. “Bringing this service to the Will Adams Treatment Centre has been warmly welcomed by all.
“Optometrists can now directly refer patients to us here without always needing a GP consultation. This makes the whole care pathway much simpler for the patient, who naturally is looking for improved sight as quickly as possible.”