Ophthalmology Donation Brings Friends Total to £100k

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Friday April 13 2018

Pictured: Christina Cameron and Dr Andrew Pyott with the camera.

The most recent donation to Raigmore Hospital from the Friends of Raigmore will not only benefit ophthalmology patients but brings the Friends fundraising total to £100,000 since their hospital-based shop opened five years ago.

The Friends have this week (13 April) handed over an ophthalmology camera, costing £37,400, to the team based at Raigmore Hospital which will benefit patients across Highland.

Dr Andrew Pyott, consultant ophthalmologist for NHS Highland, explained that the camera takes digital photos of the eye (front of the eye, retina and optic disc) allowing eye abnormalities to be documented so that any change can be detected when the patient comes in for review.

Dr Pyott said:

“The purchase of this camera will allow the development of Virtual Glaucoma clinics which will improve patient experience and reduce waiting times for a large number of Ophthalmology patients in Highland.

“Virtual clinics like the one we are now able to develop are used by about half the ophthalmology clinics across the UK.

“The clinics are a way of increasing the number of stable glaucoma patients that can be seen by an ophthalmology unit and the demand for them is increasing as ophthalmology services try and keep up with the demand on glaucoma services.”

 Virtual clinics involve the patient attending the eye clinic for various tests carried out by nurses/optometrists or orthoptists.

The test results are then checked by an ophthalmologist at another time and any management decisions and/or follow up are made then.

 This allows approximately double the number of glaucoma patients to be seen per ophthalmologist per session in comparison to a traditional clinic.

Traditional clinic slots are then kept for patients at higher risk of visual loss.

Dr Pyott added:

“The benefit to the patient is we are reducing the clinical backlog and therefore reducing the delays experienced to be seen in the clinic.

“Virtual glaucoma clinic appointments are also more predictable with less risk of long waits in the waiting room to be called.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Friends for this fantastic donation to the department.

“The camera, which is also extremely important for teaching, is going to be a huge benefit to us and our patients.”

Christina Cameron, chair of the Friends of Raigmore, said:

“We’re so pleased to be able to hand over this camera today and to hear about how it will benefit the department and patients in Highland.

“We are a completely voluntary group and without our team of dedicated volunteers we would not have reached this wonderful target.

“We’re also thrilled as a group that this takes our donation total up to £100,000 since our shop opened.

“Minus our public liability insurance every penny raised in the shop goes towards our fundraising and we would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has supported this by either donating or purchasing from the shop.

“We’ve had so much support as a group which allows us to support the hospital in ways which benefit patients.”



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