D-Eye-Y: eye treatment clinic to open in B&Q car park

Date published: 02 August 2019

An NHS eye clinic could soon begin treating patients in the car park of an Oldham DIY store.

The town hall’s planning department has received a proposal to set up a ‘mobile ophthalmology trailer’ at the site of the B&Q on Westhulme Way.

Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine and surgery which deals with the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders.

If approved, the trailer would provide services to NHS patients for a temporary period of five years.

The services are being delivered by Care UK, which has been commissioned by Oldham’s clinical commissioning group (CCG).

A design and access statement by the company states that the B&Q is ‘well located’, within up to 45 minutes travel time from ‘most parts’ of the borough.

All patient referrals will be by appointment only and it is expected that 16 patients will be seen for a half hour each during each half day visit. 

“Patients will be referred by their general practitioners and all GPs in the Oldham CCG area will be actively encouraged to refer their patients to the facility regardless of age, disability, ethnicity or social grouping,” the Care UK report states.

“In addition, as the scheme is an NHS initiative, there will be no cost to the patient for the healthcare services provided at this location to the benefit of the entire community regardless of economic standing.”

Documents submitted to the council state that the purpose of the trailer is to offer ‘macular regeneration’ services, once a person has been referred by a clinician.

The service involves consultation, examination and minor treatment, and five people will be employed to work at the temporary treatment unit.

Age-related macular degeneration is a common condition that affects the middle part of a person’s vision.

The NHS says that while it doesn’t cause total blindness, it can make activities such as reading and recognising faces difficult, and may get worse without treatment.

The trailer would be in place at the B&Q on two half days per week between Monday and Friday.

The trailer will cover around 370 sqm, and include 11 car parking spaces for staff and patients.

However, this is only a fraction of the total 532 spaces on the site.

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