Eye clinic move worries patients

THE decision to relocate a busy eye clinic has left one woman feeling ‘abandoned’.

The wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) clinic, which previously operated out of Worthing Hospital, has been moved to BMI Goring Hall Appointments have been cancelled with some yet to be rescheduled.

Beverley Quilter, from Bognor Regis, is one of those affected.

“It feels like I have been abandoned. That is the best way to describe it,” said the 80-year-old.

Mrs Quilter said she is worried about the delay having the treatment could have on her remaining sight.

She said: “I can’t see as well as I used to but I am worried what little sight I have left is being damaged.”

According to www.nhs.uk the condition generally leads to the gradual loss of central vision but can sometimes cause a rapid reduction in vision.

The move to Goring comes following a review of the service by the Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Mrs Quilter, who has been receiving treatment for the last five years, was two months into a three-month course of treatment when the change took place.

The treatment involves her having injections into her eyes.

She said: “My injections are already three weeks late and it is making a big difference to my sight. I don’t understand why they would chance a practice that has been working so well without any warning.

“It is very worrying for me, as I am sure it is for a lot of others. We don’t really know what is happening. It is desperately worrying.

“I don’t know how long I will be waiting, it could be one week, it could be two, three or more and we have had no explanation why this has been changed.

“It is frustrating.”

A spokesman for the clinical commissioning group, said: “As a result of a recent review of the service provided by Mr Rassam and Mr Kon, the CCG was unable to continue with the current arrangements and took the difficult decision to move patients currently using this service to one of our other existing providers.

“We not take decisions like this lightly and any changes to local NHS services are only made after careful consideration.

“We appreciate that this change may have been upsetting, and we are very sorry for any distress caused during this process.

“It is absolutely vital to the CCG that our patients are able to receive the best possible care, and for us this means a service with robust clinical and information governance frameworks in place.

“All patients will be able to continue their treatment with BMI Goring Hall receiving the best possible care going forward.

“The CCG has contacted all patients and the transfer of the service is fully underway. Goring Hall is contacting patients directly to confirm appointment dates.”

Mrs Quilter has contact the MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Nick Gibb.