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Stafford Patient Journey Times Cut Thanks to Hospital Charity

Patients from Stafford and surrounding areas can now benefit from a new eye service at County Hospital thanks to hospital charity funding.

The £200,000 Ophthalmology Department uses the latest equipment to diagnose, treat and prevent various eye diseases, and means patients living in Stafford and surroundings areas can now be treated closer to home without the need to travel to Stoke-on-Trent for treatment.

The department opened its doors to patients on 27 February using money donated by UHNM Charity supporters.

Bryony Washburn, Senior Sister for Ophthalmology at the University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) which runs County Hospital said: “With the help of UHNM Charity and their generous supporters, we have been able to open this brand-new service at County Hospital, along with all new, state-of-the-art equipment. It’s fantastic news for our patients living in and around the Stafford area as for many it’s difficult to travel to the Royal Stoke University Hospital for an appointment. The extra capacity in the service also means waiting times for treatment will be reduced.”

She added: “The first clinics we have carried out have received great feedback, and our patients are so pleased to come here. It feels like a family atmosphere already, with our brilliant UHNM colleagues at County Hospital making us feel so welcome.”

  The move to open the new Ophthalmology Department has also been welcomed by patients including 57 year-old Chris Keeling from Stafford, who was one of the first patient through the doors.

Chris said: “It’s difficult to get to the Royal Stoke living in Stafford, and I’ve even had to cancel appointments in the past due to transport issues. But now this new service is open in the town where I live, with the benefit of being able to see the same nurses and consultants.”

The new Ophthalmology Department is the latest improvement made to patient care and experience at County Hospital thanks to UHNM Charity, who have funded a number of recent improvements including a new Chemotherapy Garden to be used by cancer patients, and the refurbishment of the Outpatients and Orthopaedics departments.

Naomi Duggan, Director of Communications and Charity at UHNM said: “UHNM Charity is delighted to have supported the opening of this new service at County Hospital, as part of our on-going commitment to improving the experiences of our patients in and around the County Town. We would like to thank our fundraisers and donors who have made this possible, helping to support the work our incredible staff here at County Hospital.

If you would like to fundraise for UHNM Charity visit www.uhnmcharity.org.uk for more information, or call 01782 676444 to speak to one of the UHNM Charity team.

(Photo left to right – Tracy Humphreys, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Bryony Washburn, Opthormology Senior Sister, Chris Keeling, Karen Matthews, Head of Orthoptics, David Jinks, Senior Opperations Manager.)