The Trust has installed temporary operating theatres on its site at Stoke Mandeville to help its ophthalmology team tackle a backlog of patients requiring cataract surgery.
Phacoemulsification with Intraocular Lens (IOL) Implantation (commonly known as cataract surgery) is the most common procedure carried out within the NHS.
With a growing and ageing population there is a national backlog of patients waiting for treatment and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists predict number will increase by 25% in the next 10 years.
The Trust recorded a 24% increase in the number of procedures carried out from April 2017-March 2018 in comparison with the same period the previous year.
This initiative, led by Consultant Ophthalmologists Miss Sarah Maling and Mr Mike Adams, with support from Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, has allowed the Trust to
rent a Vanguard theatre service (temporary theatre) for a three month period to help clear the backlog of patients requiring cataract surgery.
Uniquely, the surgery will be provided by the Trust's own Consultant Ophthalmologists, who have agreed to provide extra operating sessions in what would normally be non-clinical time.
It is hoped that the new temporary dedicated theatres will significantly reduce the size of waiting list and the time patients need to wait to have the procedure.
The success of this initiative will be closely monitored by the school of ophthalmology and by the Department of Health to understand whether it can be rolled out as a possible solution
to this national issue.
Tina Kenny, medical director said: “This new dedicated facility will provide a much needed local solution to what is a national issue.
"We thank our local CCG for recognising the need to move quickly and decisively to tackle the problem of the backlog, once again putting our Trust at the forefront of innovative responses to improve patient care.”
Asifa Shaikh, ophthalmology consultant and service lead for the Trust said: “With continued growth and demand there needs to be a significant change to how ophthalmology teams
across the country manage cataracts. The vanguard project represents the start of a strategy to deal with this issue.”