Plan in place to deal with eye-operation delays in North Staffordshire
A PRIVATE hospital and North Staffordshire's biggest health centre have been chosen to carry out non-urgent eye operations to people prevented from receiving the treatment at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
The complex has had to suspend its service because so many people are on its waiting lists to have their sight corrected that it can no longer hit Government waiting list targets.
Instead, the area's NHS fundholding bodies have clinched a one-year deal with the private company, Birmingham-based Midland Eye Institute, to treat the patients.
Following fears that people may have to travel long distances out of North Staffordshire to have the operations, the two local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have confirmed the company's eye specialists will treat cases at the new £14 million Cobridge Primary Care Centre in Elder Road and St Jude's Hospital, Sandy Lane, Basford.
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No-one will have to pay for the care which starts on January 3 and will give the UHNS a chance to reduce its outpatients backlog of thousands of people with conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma.
CCG communications manager Tamsin Carr said: "Patients will be clinically triaged and those with routine, general conditions that can safely be managed within the community will be offered a choice of location, date and time for their appointment.
"Patients with urgent or sight threatening conditions and children will continue to be seen at UHNS."