Weekend eye surgery cuts waiting times

CATARACT patients at Ipswich Hospital are today receiving treatment more quickly than ever.Waiting times for cataract operations have dropped drastically thanks to new weekend theatre lists.

CATARACT patients at Ipswich Hospital are today receiving treatment more quickly than ever.

Waiting times for cataract operations have dropped drastically thanks to new weekend theatre lists.

Introducing Saturday surgery has helped doctors treat more patients, despite rising levels in demand.

The dedicated team at the hospital's new opthalmic day unit treated 2498 patients in 2004, an increase of more than 300 people from the year before.

Waiting times for all patients have now dropped to three months from 15 months in 2002.

Michael Vonk, service manager, said: "We are all delighted to be treating more people, more quickly and it is entirely due to the hard work and dedication of our ophthalmology team."

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The centre, which has two operating theatres, opened in January 2004 and is staffed by a 90-strong team, which includes five consultant opthalmologists (eye surgeons).

Chris Dooley, acting chief executive of the hospital, said: "Bringing faster treatment and higher calibre services within the national standards is a great achievement for everyone involved.

"The increasing numbers of people who are benefiting from this type of treatment is a tremendous success."

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