New unit to help prevent sight loss

Ophthalmology staff are delighted with their new surroundings
Ophthalmology staff are delighted with their new surroundings

A new £500,000 extension to the ophthalmology department at University Hospital Ayr was formally opened last week.

The new build extension to the existing outpatients department provides the additional space needed for preventing eye degeneration and potential sight loss.

An additional consultant, nursing staff, pharmacy staff and secretarial and administrative staff have been recruited to support the delivery of care to macular service patients. Additional equipment has also been purchased for the service including a new optical coherence tomography machine.

The extension was formally opened by Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board Chairman, Dr Martin Cheyne. He commented: “I am delighted to open this new facility for the people of Ayrshire and Arran.

Not only does it provide the much needed extra space to allow us to treat more patients more quickly, it also offers a much enhanced environment for patients and staff alike.”

Dr Mohan Varikkara, Consultant Ophthalmologist, said: “The new extension is a much welcome addition to our busy service. We know the numbers of people requiring macular treatment is increasing as people are living longer. This new extension and additional staff will ensure we are able to treat more patients and offer us the ability to provide an intra vitreal therapy service which prevents eye degeneration and potential sight loss.”

Construction of the new extension began in September 2016.

It was successfully led by NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Capital Planning department and fully involved staff and contractors, Brick & Steel Construction Ltd, throughout the project.

Funding for the new extension was agreed on a partnership basis with NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Novartis Ltd and Hospital Volunteers and Endowments all contributing.

The new extension increases the size of the department by adding two clinical procedure rooms; two clinic/consulting rooms; OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) room; fully accessible bathroom and a newly configured waiting area.