Bayer is supporting a new mobile eye service in the UK that will offer patients in Hampshire more convenient access to treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The firm is collaborating with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) on the community-based service, which was launched on Friday.

Lars Bruening, CEO of Bayer UK/Ireland, said: “At Bayer we are proud to collaborate with NHS trusts to implement solutions that improve the delivery of much needed ophthalmology services.

“The expansion of this community-based mobile unit allows for greater and more efficient delivery of quality services to the people who need them most.”

The new one-stop review and treatment service will offer patients reduced travel and waiting times, while also alleviating increasing demand on one of the largest hospital eye units in the UK.

Christina Rennie, consultant ophthalmologist and UHS clinical lead for ophthalmology, said: “Growing numbers of patients accessing our hospital eye services has meant that we have had to re-evaluate how we can ensure our patients continue to receive the best level of care.

“We are excited to launch this mobile eye unit that addresses a clear need of our patient community for services that are not only high quality but also convenient. Currently, there are two and a half thousand patients receiving anti-VEGF injections for a range of retinal conditions including AMD so this unit will benefit many of our patients.”

Patients with AMD require close monitoring of their condition, with regular follow-up appointments to prevent further vision loss, and Bayer said its new mobile service aligns with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Three Step Plan. This aims to reduce the risk of patients coming to harm due to inefficient services and delayed appointments.

The mobile eye unit is expected to boost UHS’ capacity by providing six clinical sessions per week from two separate locations, following an initial phase that will see it situated at King's Community Church in Hedge End.

The service’s launch came at the end of a busy week for Bayer UK’s ophthalmology team. It opened a new macula centre at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and it also won a final positive recommendation from NICE for the anti-VEGF drug Eylea to treat visual impairment in adults due to myopic chorodial neovascularisation.