Hurrah for the Ophthalmology team at Central Middlesex Hospital, who paved the way by being the first in London to re-start elective cataract surgery.
The team were delighted to welcome patients back on 17 June and eight were treated that day. These went so well, that they held further sessions for eight patients on 24 June, which increased to 10 patients on 1 July. They also ran extra lists on 29 and 30 June for complex combined cataract and retinal surgery patients. 100% of the patients who were booked came for their surgery, which is an excellent achievement.
The message to our patients is that we have robust procedures in place to keep you safe when you come for your surgery.
Evelyn Mensah, Consultant Eye Surgeon and Lead Clinician for Ophthalmology, tells us how they prepared to safely re-start cataract surgery.
"We had a team meeting to determine how to start the process when we were in a position to do so. Since our patients are primarily from the BAME community who have the highest prevalence of diabetic eye disease and glaucoma in the country, we treat a complex group of patients.
"The first task was look at all the patients currently on our cataract waiting list and COVID-19 risk assess them, which was done by our fantastic trainees, Adnaan and Beth. The next step was to contact suitable patients (low risk COVID-19) to find out if they wanted to come for surgery and 80% of those contacted agreed to come in for their surgery and to self-isolate for seven days before their treatment.
"The pre-operative assessment team helped with COVID swabbing 72 hours before the patients’ surgery.
"To limit the amount of time that patients spent in the hospital on the day of surgery, we produced a patient information leaflet, in partnership with our pharmacy colleagues, to explain how patients needed to self-administer their own dilating eye drops on the day of surgery.”
"Our goal for the future is to increase cases to 12 patients a day, as we still have a large waiting list in the North West London sector, and to help neighbouring Trusts clear their cataract waiting lists.
"None of this would have been possible without our fantastic team, and everyone pitching in to help, especially Gertrude, a surgical technician, who was essential for the smooth running and throughput of the theatre lists."
(photo taken earlier this year)