Hospital runs first 'Super Weekend' clinics for cataract patients waiting for surgery

Eye unit - Super weekend

Eye specialists in Southampton have run their first ‘Super Saturday’ and ‘Super Sunday’ clinics for patients waiting for cataract surgery.

The team – made up of imaging technicians, allied health professionals (AHPs), nurses and surgeons – teamed up on Sunday (25 July) and Saturday (31 July) to run the one-stop clinics.

The aim was to help speed up access to treatment and reduce waiting times following the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cataracts occur when the lens, a small transparent disc inside the eye, develops cloudy patches.

Over time these usually become bigger and cause blurry, misty vision. If left untreated it can eventually lead to blindness.

Cataract surgery involves replacing the cloudy lens inside the eye with an artificial one. It has a high success rate in improving eyesight.

“Over the past two years the ophthalmology department has worked hard to provide additional capacity to help deal with pressures on the service,” said Krishnachandran Chandrasekharan, ophthalmology operational manager at University Hospital Southampton (UHS).

“We already run weekend clinics for a variety of eye disorders but are now expanding to surgery to help reduce these waiting lists further.”

Following the success of this initiative, the department is planning further weekend clinics throughout the year.

David Anderson, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at UHS, said: “The clinic days were a great success with our enthusiastic and ever-professional team committing their time to help the service and its patients during what has been a very challenging period for ophthalmology.”

Aris Konstantopoulos, consultant ophthalmologist and clinical lead at UHS, added: “We are all committed to doing more and weekend outpatient clinics will continue, but the additional push is now on surgery which we hope will make a big impact on patients who have been waiting unusually longer for their treatment.”

Posted on Thursday 5 August 2021