Wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that, while painless, generally leads to the gradual loss of central vision, and can sometimes cause a rapid reduction in vision as a whole.
Patients in the Rugby area were previously only able to choose other hospitals for their wet AMD treatment. However, thanks to a change in contract, they can now choose to be seen by local clinicians in the macular unit at the Hospital of St Cross instead.
The unit, which was originally opened in 2011, is specifically designed for treating those with AMD and is split into different sections, including optometry, a photography bay, and consulting and treatment rooms.
A number of patients, including Bob Dawson from Rugby, have already benefitted from the change. Bob, who has been receiving treatment on and off for over 10 years, was previously treated at the old Walsgrave Hospital, and then at Warwick Hospital.
“It’s much better for me having treatments for my wet AMD at the Hospital of St Cross.
“When I was being treated at Warwick Hospital, it could take me up to 1 ½ hours to get there by public transport. Having treatment at the Hospital of St Cross is very much more convenient being only five minutes away from my house.
“I’m also happier being back under the care of Mr Pagliarini, who treated me when I was first diagnosed in 2004.”
The team at the Hospital of St Cross has also been receiving messages of thanks from other grateful patients from Coventry and Rugby.
This change is the latest step by the Trust to improve care for patients with wet AMD and other eye conditions.
In January 2015, a new eye treatment room also opened in University Hospital so that patients from the Coventry area could choose to get eye injections closer to home.
Mr Sergio Pagliarini, Consultant Opthalmologist, said:
“We’re seeing more patients with age-related macular degeneration than ever before due to the higher numbers of older people in our local population.
“Now that Rugby patients can choose to visit their local hospital for treatment, we’re able to offer these patients appointments closer to home.
“The macular unit at the Hospital of St Cross also conducts a great deal of research into wet AMD and other macular conditions, giving patients the opportunity to get cutting-edge treatments as part of clinical trials.”
David Moon, Chief Finance and Strategy Officer, said:
“We’re delighted to be able to offer wet AMD treatment at the Hospital of St Cross to patients in Rugby.
“NHS England’s Five Year Forward View suggested that more services should be provided at smaller local hospitals in the future, and we’re proud to play our part in making this a reality.
“This year we have further plans to expand services at the Hospital of St Cross, and so this is just the latest development in this programme.”
Patients who would be interested in being treated in the Macular Unit at the Hospital of St Cross should speak to their GP.
Notes to editors
The Hospital of St Cross in Rugby offers a wide range of elective treatments, as well as an Urgent Care Centre for patients with minor illnesses and injuries who need help when it’s urgent but not life-threatening.
If you choose to be treated at the Hospital of St Cross you can benefit from caring and professional staff who are specially trained in treating your condition.
If patients from Rugby wish to be referred to The Hospital of St Cross, local GPs are able to benefit from a fast-track macular referral service dedicated to wet AMD.