St James’s Hospital opens £8.5m eye clinic

St James’s University Hospital in Leeds has unveiled its new clinic space, designed to house the Ophthalmology outpatients department.

The £8.5m clinic follows months of planning and consultation, with focus placed on gaining input from multidisciplinary teams including clinical and non-clinical staff. Patient needs were highlighted as a key priority for the planners, with patient panels engaged early in the process to establish what patients would find most useful from new facilities.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust describes the new facilities as providing “significant improvements” over the old location, including larger rooms, improved access and clearer way-finding.

The 2,500 square metre facility features 108 rooms, including consultation rooms, central diagnostic rooms, a refractive unit, as well as a virtual clinic space.

Emphasis has been placed on accessibility, with features including different coloured waiting areas, easily identifiable zones and wide corridors with lots of natural light.

Ophthalmology is one of the largest outpatient departments at LTHT, treating an estimated 100,000 patients per year. It is hoped that the new location will support the department in tackling the outpatient backlog left as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jonathan Bilmen, Clinical Director of Head and Neck services at LTHT, said: “I’m really proud to see the completion of this state-of-the-art facility which will massively improve patient care in Ophthalmology outpatients. This is the culmination of an £8.5m investment and a huge amount of planning and multidisciplinary input to ensure we deliver the best in care. I want thank all our clinical and non-clinical teams, patient groups, capital planning, and our contractors, who have worked together to get us to this point.”