Patients being treated for serious eye conditions at the Royal United Hospitals Bath are to benefit from new high tech medical equipment thanks to The Forever Friends Appeal receiving a number of legacies totalling £121,000.

Our charity has worked with Ophthalmology staff to purchase an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) retinal scanner and two slit lamps for the hospital’s busiest outpatient department.

The OCT retinal scanner (pictured below) will monitor patients with a range of conditions including macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic macula oedema and retinal vein occlusions. The slit lamps are important tools and will enable ophthalmologists to detect eye diseases.

Helen Broadbent, Head of Optometry, RUH said:

“We are so grateful that these legacies have allowed us to purchase this additional equipment that are over and beyond what is provided by the NHS. Having a fourth OCT retinal scanner means that we can expand the service as we see a huge amount of patients every year. On average, 167 patients attend our eye outpatient’s clinic and over 18,000 patients were seen last year.

“Having this equipment is invaluable in the prevention of sight loss for many patients. In the case of one form of macular disease, Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the sooner it is caught the better, as treatment is more likely to be effective earlier on in the condition.”

According to the Macular Society, around 600,000 people in the UK currently have sight loss caused by AMD, with around 70,000 new cases every year or nearly 200 every day. Ophthalmology is now the busiest outpatient specialty in the UK, dealing with nine million outpatient appointments every year, with a predicted increase in demand of 30-40% over the next 20 years.

Jan Witt, In Memory and Legacy Officer said:

“We are very grateful to have received these legacy gifts from former patients. Gifts left in Wills to our hospital make a huge difference and help ensure our hospital can continue to provide the very best treatment and care to patients now and in the future.”

If you are considering leaving a gift in your Will to help the RUH care for patients in the future, please contact Jan Witt Legacy Officer on 01225 825819 or email jan.witt@nhs.net to arrange a special visit or a chat on the phone.