David Keegan,Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Mater Hospital
With the fantastic generosity of the Shabra Foundation (Castleblaney, Co.Monaghan) and their supporters we took delivery of our new state of the art Valon TT multi-spot laser on Saint Elizabeths ward in October. Shabra managed to fundraise for the new machine through three major events during 2013.
The new laser allows us to put on more complete treatments at each sitting thus reducing the number of visits the patients have to make, improving our efficiency. The procedures are now quicker (average time for a single eye laser session is now ~10 minutes instead of 20-30 minutes). The procedure is less painful for the patients which will aid compliance of attendance and has already led to a reduction in lasers under general anaesthetic in the past two months. As it is more user friendly our trainees are skilled up quickly on the technology and are readily attaining their training goals without inconveniencing the patients.
We are now a treatment centre for the National Diabetic RetinaScreen programme and we will be treating more diabetic patients in the next three years in particular. We need to be as efficient as possible. This new laser allows us to attain these treatment targets without having to increase staff numbers too much.
In these very difficult budgetary times we are increasingly reliant on charitable donations and patients’ generosity especially as we look to introduce new technology that will improve our patients treatment, experience and outcomes. All of us in the eye unit are exceptionally grateful to Rita Shah, Oliver Brady and the board at Shabra Foundation for choosing to support our department.