Transforming Ophthalmology Services in East Sussex

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We want to talk to those living in East Sussex about their experiences of children and adult Ophthalmology services provided at The Conquest, Bexhill Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital so that we can co-design a set of proposals that suggest changes to the services, and address some of the challenges the service faces to ultimately improve our ophthalmology service. It is important that local people, patients and members of staff have a say in the development of those proposals and how the service could be delivered in the future.

We are running 6 weeks of pre-consultation engagement from Monday

We want to talk to those living in East Sussex about their experiences of children and adult Ophthalmology services provided at The Conquest, Bexhill Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital so that we can co-design a set of proposals that suggest changes to the services, and address some of the challenges the service faces to ultimately improve our ophthalmology service. It is important that local people, patients and members of staff have a say in the development of those proposals and how the service could be delivered in the future.

We are running 6 weeks of pre-consultation engagement from Monday 4th January to 14th February 2021 and you can get involved in several ways:

  • Complete the survey below
  • Contact us to take part in a telephone conversation
  • We would be pleased to visit any forums or groups you attend to talk about the plans


What is Ophthalmology?

Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine and surgery that provides diagnosis, treatment and prevention of eye conditions that affect the eye and visual system. Medical ophthalmology involves diagnosis and management of disorders affecting a person’s vision, while surgical ophthalmology involves a surgical procedure to correct or improve a person’s vision, for example, cataract surgery.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) provides ophthalmology services at three hospitals in East Sussex: Bexhill Hospital, Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Conquest Hospital in Hastings. ESHT provide a range of services from these hospitals, including outpatient and inpatient care, day case services and emergency care.

Adult Ophthalmology services commonly include the diagnosis and treatment of:

  • Cataracts are when the lens, a small transparent disc inside your eye, develops cloudy patches. Over time these patches usually become bigger causing blurry, misty vision and eventually blindness. When we're young, our lenses are usually like clear glass, allowing us to see through them. As we get older, they start to become frosted, like bathroom glass, and begin to limit our vision.

  • Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. It's usually caused by fluid building up in the front part of the eye, which increases pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma can lead to loss of vision if it's not diagnosed and treated early. It can affect people of all ages, but is most common in adults in their 70s and 80s.

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that affects a tiny part of the retina called the macula, which is located at the back of your eye. AMD causes problems with your central vision, but does not lead to total loss of sight and is not painful. AMD affects the vision you use when you are looking directly at something, for example when you are reading, looking at photos or watching television. AMD may make this central vision distorted or blurry and, over a period of time, it may cause a blank patch in the centre of your vision.

Common eye conditions in children include:

  • Strabismus: also known as a squint or crossed eyes – is when a person’s two eyes do not line up with each other. This occurs because the eye’s muscles don’t work together properly, causing an imbalance. It can either be constant or intermittent, often with the eyes alternating when turning inwards or outwards. The turning can also involve upwards and downwards movements.

  • Amblyopia: more commonly known as a lazy eye – is a condition that develops in childhood and results in reduced vision in one eye. Amblyopia can be caused by a turn in the eye (a strabismus or squint), a difference in the glasses prescription between the two eyes or an obstacle blocking visual stimulation to the eye, such as a droopy eyelid or cataract (cloudy lens); the amblyopia might persist even after the obstacle has been removed.



What do you want to know about Ophthalmology? Or the public consultation?

All questions will be turned into FAQs (please see the right hand side of the page to see what questions have been asked to date).

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