A new £30,000 machine to help patients with eye problems has been installed at Stamford Hospital.
The Friends of Stamford Hospital donated the cash for the IOL (intra-ocular lens)Master machine for the opthalmology department at the hospital in Ryhall Road.
The machine measures the power of the lens in the eye and is a vital stage in preparation for cataract surgery.
The Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust, which runs and manages the hospital, is also planning to purchase an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanner, worth £65,000, which is due to be installed later in the year.
Clinical lead and consultant opthalmic surgeon at the trust Sumin Dhingra said: “At present, a patient in Stamford needing cataract surgery requires two appointments in Peterborough – one to do the lens measurement and a second for the actual operation.
“With the new IOL Master in Stamford, the lens measurement can take place here and then the patient can be called forward to Peterborough for the actual operation once the lenses have been delivered.
“The majority of patients needing cataract surgery are older people; this means we can reduce the amount of travelling and waiting around for buses, or people to give them a lift to Peterborough, thus improving their patient experience.”
Mr Dhingra said that with the addition of the second scanner later in the year, he hopes the expansion of the ophthalmology department in Stamford may lead, in future, to some eye surgery – for example, cataract operations – being undertaken in Stamford.
“Our staff in Stamford will be able to provide a service with the very best of modern technology and we hope to build on that service in the future” he added.
Ian Campbell, from the Friends, said the group was happy to assist with the purchase once it heard the case from Mr Dhingra.
He said: “We’re hoping to see some new life breathed into Stamford Hospital as it moves forward, particularly with the improvements to the imaging department with the MRI scanner and the other improvements.
“We are hoping to see Stamford becoming a centre for outpatients, meaning that patients from Stamford and the surrounding rural areas do not have to travel to Peterborough. That is why we happy to support the purchase of the new scanner.”
In January, a new 27-tonne MRI scanner was hoisted into place at the hospital as part of a £2m redevelopment of the hospital, which includes additional clinic rooms, dedicated paediatriac services, expansion to the chemotherapy area and a second ultrasound scanner.