Friends of St Cross donate £52k for machine that will allow more glaucoma patients to stay in Rugby

The equipment was quickly pressed into full-time use

Photo L-R Willy Goldschmidt, Dr Muneer Otri, Arlene Calica, Ophthalmic Optician and Dr Rosemary Robinson.

The Glaucoma team at Rugby' s Hospital of St Cross has taken delivery of an Ocular Coherance Tomography (OCT) Scanner, enabling ophthalmic technicians to examine patients and produce a report for a consultant to assess whether or not they require specialist intervention or regular monitoring of their condition.

Dr Rosemary Robinson, recently retired glaucoma consultant, highlighted that the condition is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, affecting 10 per cent of people over 75.

And 50 per cent of them do not know they have it, affecting their treatment options when it is discovered, Dr Robinson added

Dr Robinson said: “The OCT scanner measures the thickness of the retina around the rim of the optic nerve which becomes thin with glaucoma due to loss of nerve fibres.

"This equipment is the cornerstone of an expanded diagnosis and treatment service at St Cross.

"Before this equipment was donated, for 25 per cent of the UHCW Trust’s glaucoma patients, the closest hospital was Rugby, however St Cross provided less than 10 per cent of the Trust’s glaucoma activity, which meant that a significant number of patients had to go to Coventry.”

Doctor Muneer Otri, consultant opthalmic surgeon who has taken over as the lead consultant for glaucoma at Rugby, said: “This equipment has enabled us to improve the glaucoma pathway.

"The patient experience has been enhanced by having all their investigations done at one time and the consultants now have more time to spend with the patients at higher risk of deteriorating vision.”

Willy Goldschmidt, chairman of the Friends of St Cross said “Dr Robinson quite literally opened the trustees eyes to the nature and impact of glaucoma and we had no hesitation in supporting this £52,000 request which, not only expands a much needed service at St Cross, but improves the patient experience.

"When this photo was taken, I was delighted to hear that the equipment is already in use full time."