Specialist eye centre plan

A CENTRE of excellence for specialist eye care could open at Pontefract Hospital.

Health bosses are planning to make the hospital a specialist centre for the treatment of glaucoma, medical retina and cataract services in a reshuffle of services.

The centre would provide outpatient care and surgical procedures under the plan by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.

A unit which treats the eye condition age-related macular degeneration would also move from Clayton Hospital in Wakefield to Pinderfields Hospital under the plan.

Stephen Eames, Mid Yorkshire’s interim chief executive, said: “The centre of excellence at Pontefract Hospital is a great opportunity to make good use of the facilities there and to bring together specialist equipment and expertise on the one site.

“This has undoubted benefits for patients as it will ultimately lead to improved quality of care.

“The move will also help us keep the age related macular degeneration service in Wakefield by freeing up space so the service can move from Clayton Hospital, which needs to close, into Pinderfields Hospital.”

The trust said it was consulting on the proposal and hoped to develop the new centre from September.

Consultant ophthalmologist Atul Varma said: “The changes would provide better quality of care with the diagnostics for a number of these conditions available on the day, so fewer visits to the hospital for patients.”