Vanguard Healthcare Solutions is helping reduce Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s cataract surgery waiting list.

We are working alongside the Trust’s innovative ophthalmology team, who have been leading the way nationally by being one of the first NHS trusts to have resumed surgery just weeks after the first government-instigated lockdown in March. Since resuming surgeries in May, the Buckinghamshire team has safely and successfully completed 1,500 operations.

Cataracts usually get slowly worse over time, so it is important that patients due to receive the surgery attend all their appointments. It is the most common procedure worldwide and, according to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO), the number of people in the UK needing this operation is set to double by 2035. The team is planning to kick-start the next phase of recovery with an intensive project which will see the Trust deliver 500 operations in just two weeks.

Following this and building on the success of a pilot project alongside Vanguard Healthcare Solutions in 2019, a bespoke standalone theatre has been built to enable the team to perform an additional 4,000 cataract operations over the next year, as well as offer 2,000 additional appointments for patients. The first of these operations will take place in November with the aim, within a year, to have worked through the Trust’s current cataract surgery waiting list.

The operating theatre was designed and installed by Vanguard, who worked closely with the Trust’s ophthalmology team to create a tailored solution for tackling the cataract surgery waiting list.

Simon Squirrell, National Sales Manager at Vanguard Healthcare Solutions, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust again and to be helping them deliver their excellent cataract service.

“We have worked closely with the team to create a bespoke ophthalmic hub which not only provides a mobile theatre environment for the Trust’s clinical teams to perform cataract procedures, but also self-contained patient reception and staff facilities, entirely tailored to meet the hospital’s needs.”

Sarah Maling, consultant ophthalmologist and joint lead for the cataract service at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Our Trust is well known for delivering an excellent cataract service. It has managed to deliver over 1000 successful cataract operations during the last lockdown and has been supported by NHS England to establish a stand-alone cataract facility. We are delighted with this support and look forward to continue to care for all of our patients during these challenging times.”