Cataract surgery a stitch in time for Joyce

When cataracts made reading and sewing really difficult Joyce Leyshon, 77, from Weston-Super-Mare, decided to visit her optician to find out what was wrong.

Joyce had experienced problems with her eyes for about two years, and her optician noticed that her right eye had deteriorated and diagnosed cataracts. Joyce was then referred to her GP who in turn referred her to Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre. “I had heard good things about Emersons Green so I opted to go there for my treatment,” said Joyce.

Once they have made the choice to have treatment at Practice Plus Group Hospital, Emersons Green (formally Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre), patients will be able to book into a pre-operative assessment telephone clinic where they can discuss the procedure and agree the necessary consents. Patients will be given a date for an appointment. At the appointment they will see a Consultant for an assessment and then have surgery on the same day if they are happy to and it is clinically-appropriate for them to do so – otherwise they are given a later date for the procedure.

According to Joyce, the care at Practice Plus Group Hospital, Emersons Green was “absolutely brilliant.”

She said:

“I was greeted at reception and told where I should go. I was met by one of the care staff and taken to a designated room where a very nice nurse put drops into my right eye. The surgeon came to introduce herself and so did another nurse who held my hand throughout the procedure. Within 10 minutes I was taken to theatre and the surgeon said the whole thing would take just 10 minutes – and she was spot-on. My husband barely had time to have a cup of coffee before I was back with him.”

She added:

“We were given hot drinks and biscuits and told we could go home when we were ready. It was amazing – I went in at 11.30am and we were back at home in our bungalow in Weston-Super-Mare at 1.30pm.”

Joyce’s eyesight is much better now and she has followed her discharge advice to the letter – “everything was explained to me properly and the literature is very good, you’ve always got something to refer to.” She is back to her sewing, something she has always been keen on, making dresses, shirts, blouses and other things.

Joyce commented:

“Nobody was more nervous than me, but there is absolutely nothing to worry about whatsoever. I wasn’t aware of any pain and there was nothing to it. If anyone was thinking about having their cataracts treated at Emersons Green and was worried about it, I would say make that choice. I’m looking forward to returning to Emersons Green in the summer to have my other eye treated.”

Patricia Warwick, then Hospital Director at Practice Plus Group Hospital, Emersons Green, added:

“We are delighted to her that Joyce is happy with the care she has received from us. We have run the one-stop service for some of our patients for a little while now and it has proved to be very popular. It gives patients reassurance to know that they can receive an assessment and treatment in the same visit, significantly reducing their journeys. With patients coming from as far afield as Swindon, South Wales and Gloucestershire, as well as in and around Bristol, this makes our eye service an attractive option.”

It is estimated that around 2.5 million people aged 65 and over in England and Wales have some form of vision impairment caused by cataracts. While cataracts can interfere with everyday life if left untreated, cataract surgery is a successful procedure with good results for almost all patients – and treatment is available on the NHS, there is no need to pay.