Hospital awarded £3 million for new eye centre

Peter Roberts from King's Lynn Taxis says he will no longer collect Queen Elizabeth Hospital nurses

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has been awarded £3m for a new eye centre. - Credit: Ian Burt

A Norfolk hospital has been awarded £3 million for a new eye centre as part of plans to modernise its facilities and improve the experience or patients, their families and staff.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn was given national funding for the new unit, which will be called the West Norfolk Eye Centre and located in the Fermoy building.

It will allow the current services in the main Outpatient department to move to a new dedicated Ophthalmology outpatient facility in a vacant space in the newly named Emerson Unit, voted on by staff and members of the public in tribute to former healthcare assistant Chrissie Emerson who died of Covid.

Opening in spring next year, the facility will allow the QEH to offer an extra 2,000 appointments and carry out 2,000 more intravitreal injection (IVT) procedures each year. The procedure puts medication directly in the back of the eye.

The hospital said the increased capacity that will be created with this development, combined with "more efficient ways of working" such as developing ‘One Stop’ clinics, will mean that more patients will be able to receive care and treatment more quickly.

The bigger facility and the way it is designed will also allow the QEH to respond to the increasing numbers of patients needing ophthalmology services – something that the west Norfolk hospital said is set to rise over the coming years.

Caroline Shaw, chief executive of QEH, said: “This is great news.

Caroline Shaw, the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust chief executive. Picture: DENIS

Caroline Shaw, chief executive at QEH. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

"It is another example of how we are significantly investing in modernising our hospital and in turn further improving the experience of our patients, their families and staff.”

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Dr Sam Bass, consultant anaesthetist and divisional director surgery, said: “We are looking forward to moving into the West Norfolk Eye Centre this spring.

"This new facility will allow staff to work more smartly and more efficiently in new facilities, enabling more patients to be seen more quickly.”

It follows plans to build a new £12.5 million state-of-the-art endoscopy unit as part of plans to improve the hospital, which is waiting to hear whether the government will give it money for an entire rebuild.

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