A Rochdale health centre which was one of the first in the country to offer NHS cataract surgery in a non-hospital, community-based setting is maintaining its reputation for innovation by helping local people to receive their treatment in half the time it takes at other services in the area.
77-year old David Midgley was recently referred to Rochdale NHS Ophthalmology Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS) and, to his delight, Care UK was able to operate on cataracts in both his eyes in just five weeks. David has taken the opportunity of National Eye Health Week (16th – 22nd September) to thank the team for the care he received.
David, who hadn’t been able to properly focus on things for nearly four months, is full of praise for how quickly he was treated. He said: “My optician referred me to Care UK on a Friday and I received a call the following Monday. I was booked in for my first operation a week later. It would have been sooner, but I had to wait for an infection to clear up.
“I’ll admit to being a little apprehensive before my appointment – even the thought of having eye drops worried me. But I needn’t have been. The surgeon, nurses and receptionist were so friendly and did everything they could to put my mind at ease. It really helped to meet them prior to surgery and hear what my treatment would involve – it’s not as bad as you might think.
“After surgery I was advised what I should do to help my eye recover and the advice given was very useful. In fact, things couldn’t have gone smoother. Two weeks later I returned for my second operation and again the care I received was impeccable. The improvement in my eyesight is unbelievable and I can now enjoy reading again.”
David’s son Philip was equally thrilled with the care his father received at The Croft Shifa Health Centre on Belfield Road. He said: “The service was very impressive. My father couldn’t have been treated better. I was amazed that within a couple of days he’d been contacted, attended an initial consultation and booked in for surgery – I doubt a private appointment would have been quicker.
“We tell everyone we know about how great being a Care UK patient was. Our friends have now also visited the same health centre for cataract surgery and they too had an excellent experience there.”
Ericka Ashworth, service manager at Rochdale NHS Ophthalmology CATS, said: “The Croft Shifa Health Centre was one of the first in the UK to offer cataract surgery in a non-hospital, community-based setting, and I’m delighted that David, his son Philip and their friends speak so enthusiastically about us.
“The team works very hard to make sure patients are comfortable and fully prepared for surgery, and it’s testament to their commitment to patient care that we’re able to offer people such quick access to high quality healthcare. We’re recognised for our excellent customer service and many patients comment how impressed they are with the treatment they receive.”
David added: “When I heard about the open day at the health centre to raise money for the charity Action for Blind People I thought it’d be a great opportunity to show how grateful I am for being looked after so well. It was a pleasure to make a donation and give the team a token of my appreciation – I hope the chocolates went down well!”
Rochdale NHS Ophthalmology CATS has treated over 40,000 people from Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton and in 2012 was accredited as an Any Qualified Provider (AQP) for cataract surgery, laser treatment and eye lid, eye socket and eye ball operations. It offers clinics at The Croft Shifa Health Centre in Rochdale and The Phoenix Centre in Heywood, where NHS patients can receive treatment for a variety of ophthalmological conditions. For more information, visit rochdaleophthalmologycats.nhs.uk