Free transport for Dorset patients requiring cataract surgery

PATIENTS requiring eye surgery are encouraged to take advantage of a free transportation service.

Dorset residents who need NHS cataract surgery can benefit from free door-to-door transport service for patients who might otherwise not be able to access surgery to restore sight.

Cataract surgery provider SpaMedica manages the service and encourages residents to use it in an effort to reduce the backlog of patients that has built up during the coronavirus pandemic. The surgery provider, who owns a hospital in Poole, urges patients to take advantage of the service as World Sight Day approaches October 14, a global event that draws attention to blindness and visual impairment .

David Bell, one of SpaMedica’s patient drivers, started working for the company during the first nationwide lockdown in March last year, after his mother was given a new lease of life following her surgery. cataract.

David said: “My mother had cataracts in both eyes and had the procedure. She is now 87 and still drives, so I know firsthand the difference this operation makes and I can put patients to it. ‘easy.

“All driver-patients have the opportunity to come in to observe the operation, which means we know what it looks like and can reassure patients if any of them are worried.”

The transport service, which runs through England, has its own bus network and can accommodate up to four people per trip, all socially distanced, and has seen an average of 1,500 patients make their way to appointments and in come back every month.

James Gallagher, Regional Director of SpaMedica in the South West, said: “We are committed to providing the highest quality care while helping to reduce significant wait times for NHS cataract surgery for patients. patients.

“We operate our free bus service because we know that NHS patients benefit – whether they are vulnerable, whether they live in rural areas with limited public transport links or travel further afield. To reach us, service is the first step in reducing any anxiety on the day of surgery.

“Cataracts can rob people of their quality of life and independence, but for the majority of people it is a treatable condition and the procedure itself is quick and easy.”

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