AXED: Eye clinic at Evesham Community Hospital closed by lack of staff - The Evesham Observer

AXED: Eye clinic at Evesham Community Hospital closed by lack of staff

Evesham Editorial 30th Jun, 2017   0

HEALTH chiefs have axed eye clinic services at Evesham Community Hospital due to a lack of doctors to run the service safely, the Observer can reveal.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s decision to close the Ophthalmology outpatient service now means patients will have to travel to Worcester or Tewkesbury for treatment.

The axe fell on the service at the Waterside hospital after Gloucestershire NHS Foundation Trust, which provided the consultants to run the clinic said they could no longer to do so.

Concerns about the future of the service were among a host of issues raised at a public meeting at Evesham Town Hall on Monday where the future of health services in Worcestershire was discussed.

One angry mum hit out at health bosses and said her daughter had been forced to miss school in favour of a 26 mile round trip for treatment at the eye clinic in Tewkesbury.

Health bosses confirmed the news in a statement to the Observer and said the move was down to a lack of consultants to run the clinics.

“We needed consultants to run it safely, these were provided by Gloucestershire NHS Foundation Trust.

“They told us they could no longer provide the consultants at Evesham, but would in their own clinics in Tewkesbury.

“We need specialist consultants cover to ensure the service is safe and effective.”

“Patients in Worcestershire continue to have access to local Ophthalmology services provided by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.”

Michael Worrall, who chaired the cross-party meeting, said: “I read out a statement at the meeting clarifying that the hospital was not under threat of closure and we thought that it was a key part of the STP’s plans for the future.

“The meeting was then surprised to hear first hands accounts of the closure of the eye clinic, which we knew about, and the difficulties patients were experiencing having to travel to Cheltenham and Tewkesbury for the same appointments that they previously had at Avonside.

“We feel that it is very important not to cry wolf with every change that is proposed.

“But there must be a duty on Worcestershire H&C to explain exactly what their proposals are, particularly if it involves the closure of valuable services which local people rely on.”



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