Great Western Hospital pioneers nurse-led eye injection

The Eye Clinic at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is pioneering a course which seeks to train nurses in administering intravitreal injections.

The ophthalmology injections, previously administered by doctors, give patients a shot of medicine directly into their retina, near the back of the eye.

Due to the complexity of the injection, it previously relied on doctors only to manage.

With dedicated training and supervision, the Trust now has six nurse practitioners who are able to administer the injection with a novel assisted device, Invitria.

Since initiating this project in 2014, the first nurse injector has successfully completed over 3,000 intravitreal injections and, to date, all the nurse injectors have performed more than 25,000 eye injections at the hospital.

The transformed service has also relieved doctors and encouraged better patient flow, as nurses can now administer 18 injections per session with the device, rather than the previous 13 injections with a conventional procedure.

In September, the eye clinic team ran a national nurse training course in which nurse practitioners from other Trust’s across the country were trained on how to administer intravitreal injections with the assisted device.

Delegates attended from Bath, Dudley, Manchester and Aintree amongst others, and included nurse practitioners, nursing managers and GPs.

The course, which was the first of its kind in the region, was so successfully received that the Trust is looking to run it annually; to continue sharing its learning and training so that nurses across the country are competent in administering these necessary eye injections.