Our Ophthalmology team held their first ‘super week’ of 2022 from Monday 21 March, treating patients with eye conditions including glaucoma, medical retina and cataracts.
Over the course of just seven days, with staff giving up their time to work additional shifts at night and over the weekend, they saw 892 patients, and completed 175 procedures. A further 206 patients were given dates for their surgery in the coming weeks.
Ayman Khaier, Clinical Lead for Ophthalmology, said: “I’m really pleased how it went and how many patients we managed to see. The team energy was very good with lots of them happy to give up their time to provide these additional clinics.
“Running a super week requires a lot of advance planning, including organising our team availability, setting up additional clinics and identifying patients.”
During the week, the team maximised the use of one-stop-shop clinics in medical retina, where patients are assessed and treated in the same day – saving them from needing to return to get the care they need.
Super weeks like this are just one of the ways we’re reducing our waiting lists following the impact of the pandemic. Patients who have experienced longer waits are prioritised, as well as those who need more urgent care. In our Ophthalmology team, they have enabled them to catch-up on the backlog caused by the pandemic.
The team is also on the forefront for cataract operations, with our patients being seen within six weeks of assessment.
Cataract surgery involves replacing the cloudy lens inside your eye with an artificial one. It has a high success rate in improving eyesight and can greatly improve quality of life.
However, the procedure, which is usually straightforward and can be done under an hour, is in high demand as patients across the country wait 18 weeks on average.
Ayman added: “Running super weeks has allowed us to catch up on our backlog following the pandemic and we want to keep waits as short as possible for our patients.
“We’ll be running a further super week later this month and hope that will help us halve the number of patients awaiting treatment. The next steps are to continue to reduce waits for cataract surgery. Currently, patients are treated within six weeks of being assessed, we want to bring it down to two months from referral to treatment.”