Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bayer have opened a new Macula Centre to expand and improve access to services for patients with wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in adults.

Eye services across the UK have been struggling to see and treat patients in a timely manner to prevent vision loss, with units reportedly being forced to postpone appointments, causing delays to assessment.

Working in partnership with Bayer, the Trust has increased its capacity to assess and treat more patients in the region, by opening a new centre equipped with sophisticated scanning equipment, capable of detecting and monitoring a number of eye conditions.

“The new centre has enabled us to increase the number of clinics from five per week, run over two and a half days, to 10 clinics per week over 5 days. In addition the number of patients that we can see per clinic has increased so we have more than doubled our capacity,” said consultant ophthalmic surgeon Helen Devonport.

“This will result in new patients being seen and treated earlier and  follow up patients being seen on time, both of which we know improve the outcomes for our patients”.

Bayer has funded a new Optical Coherence Tomography scanner for the unit which, alongside other new scanning equipment, should improve the experience of diagnosis and monitoring of eye conditions for patients, negating the need for invasive and sometimes unpleasant testing.

Jackie Napier, Medical Director for Ophthalmology at Bayer, said the firm is “proud to support NHS Trusts across the UK to improve retinal services and care for people with sight-threatening eye conditions.

“We need to continue to work together as an ophthalmology community to overcome challenges in service delivery so we can preserve patients’ sight as much as possible.”