New eye laser at Royal Lancaster Infirmary

Staff at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary with the Lumenis Selecta Duet laser. Picture by Steven Barber
Staff at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary with the Lumenis Selecta Duet laser. Picture by Steven Barber
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Eye clinic patients in Morecambe and Lancaster can now benefit from a brand new laser treatment at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

The hospital now has a £39,000 Lumenis Duet Laser thanks to a kind donation from local charity, Sight Saver.

The Lumenis Selecta Duet is an advanced anterior segment laser, which enables SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty) treatments for patients with open angle glaucoma.

SLT is a new treatment which helps control and lower IOP (intra ocular pressure). It can be performed as an alternative to glaucoma surgery and potentially eliminates or reduces the amount of daily eye drop medications necessary to maintain a stable IOP.

The Lancaster and Morecambe Sight Saver Appeal was the charity registered in 1989 by Marilyn Parry who was treated at the RLI’s Ophthalmology Department following an eye injury.

Marilyn was so impressed by the treatment she received that she and a group Ophthalmology Clinicians set about raising awareness and funds for the department.

Marilyn said: “Our fundraising was so successful that we were encouraged to set up the Sight Saver Appeal Charity by the Duke of Westminster, and at this time David Gibson, then Clerk to the Justices, also got involved and kindly helped us obtain our charitable status.

“The trustees of Sight Saver come from within the Ophthalmology Department and outside, and will only make donations to purchase equipment once it is known that it cannot be obtained within the NHS budget.”

To date, Sight Saver has donated equipment and provided training totalling £266,000. In addition, they have maintained the aquarium in the department waiting room at the RLI.

Gilbert Ozuzu, consultant ophthalmologist, at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “SLT is appropriate for the following group of patients; newly diagnosed glaucoma or ocular hypertension, patients already on drop therapy, but still have raised eye pressure, patients who are intolerant of glaucoma drop therapy or unable to use eyedrops for other reasons such as mental health, learning or physical disability.

“Many patients are already benefitting from this treatment within our unit, resulting in prevention of sight loss from glaucoma and avoidance of complex glaucoma operations.”

For more information, or if you would like to make a donation, please contact Judith Read, on 01524 516066 or judith.read@mbht.nhs.uk.