Waiting list-busting NHS COVID response from eye nurses

19 May 2021

A new nurse-led service tackling glaucoma – a condition that can rob people of their sight is helping to reduce NHS hospital waiting times that rose during the pandemic.

During a standard consultant-led glaucoma clinic, only 14 patients can be examined. However, with a team of expert nurses leading the five-test examinations, and consultants working in tandem to examine the test results, that number rises to 32 patients.Alberto Anajao, specialist eye nurse

Alberto Anajao (pictured), Head of Nursing and Clinical Services at Practice Plus Group Surgical Centre, St Mary’s Portsmouth, explained: “This is not just a very efficient way of working, it is also a very safe one.

“We have a section of highly experienced clinicians assessing a patient, while another assesses the results.

“The clinic is also very safe because it is so efficient – there is no waiting around. We can time our appointments to ensure patients have minimal contact with anyone else, which helps to keep the service Covid-secure.”

Another advantage of the new glaucoma service is that it has the flexibility to increase the number of clinics held as demand rises.

Penny Daniels, Hospital Director, said: “Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged, usually by fluid building up in the front part of the eye, which increases the pressure inside.

“Glaucoma can lead to loss of vision if it’s not diagnosed and treated early. That is why we are so pleased to be able to reduce our waiting times with the introduction of the new nurse-led clinics.”

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