Macular degeneration services expand to Shetland

Pilot of new injection services for patients with deteriorating vision will save them travelling to Aberdeen for treatment

Tuesday 7th May 2019

Shetlanders suffering from age-related macular degeneration will now be able to access the treatment they need without travelling to the mainland.

A new pilot of services has been successfully carried out which enables patients to access a local injection therapy service rather than travelling to Aberdeen.

Provided by a visiting ophthalmologist and supported by outpatient department nurses, services have been piloted at the Gilbert Bain hospital.

Director of nursing & acute services, Kathleen Carolan, said the first clinic which was held last week, was “a pilot to make sure that we have everything in place, including sharing test results between the two hospitals and we will grow the number of patients who will be able to be seen at the clinic over the next few months

We are delighted that this treatment is now available in Shetland, as it is in the other islands, as it will have such a positive impact on patients and their families’ lives.

We hope over time that the treatment can be delivered by a team of nurses and NHS Grampian is developing their service in order to look at this being a viable option in the future.”

Interim chief executive of NHS Shetland, Simon Bokor-Ingram, added: Being able to offer a visiting service has been a high priority for us for the last two years and it has required a lot of work in the background, from teams in Shetland and Aberdeen, to make it happen.

We have also benefitted hugely from the input of patients and the local branch of the Macular Society which helped develop the service with us and highlight the issues that patients were experiencing. It is great to be able to report that this service is now up and running.”