Hospital’s new eye clinic to benefit 1,200 patients

The Sidmouth Opthalmology Clinic was officially opened this week in the town's hospital. Ref shs 352

The Sidmouth Opthalmology Clinic was officially opened this week in the town's hospital. Ref shs 3524-28-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

A new piece of high-tech kit purchased for Sidmouth Victoria Hospital will allow patients with eye conditions to be treated closer to home.

Chairman of the Comforts Fund Graham Vincent is pictured with Ward Sister Jackie King and the new OC

Chairman of the Comforts Fund Graham Vincent is pictured with Ward Sister Jackie King and the new OCT machine. Ref shs 3517-28-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

The £45,000 optical coherence tomography machine, which was paid for by the community through the hospital’s comforts fund, allows medical professionals to take high quality pictures of the inner eye.

The images can then be used by staff in the new Sidmouth Ophthalmology Clinic to diagnose issues such as glaucoma or retinal problems - saving the need for patients to travel to the eye unit at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E).

Janet Jones, senior matron at the hospital, said the state-of-the-art kit would allow staff to help an extra 1,200 patients a year.

She said: “We see 250 patients per day at the RD&E eye unit, and because it is bursting at the seams, and our backlog is so high, having this machine will mean 1,200 patients can be seen here instead.”


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Graham Vincent, Comforts Fund chairman, said: “The Comforts Fund trustees are very pleased to have purchased this piece of ophthalmology equipment for our hospital.

“It means that 30 patients a day can be treated in our hospital, rather than being seen at the RD&E.

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“We are happy to spend that sort of money on something that will benefit the residents of the town.

“We are so grateful to the community for their continued support.”

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