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New eye hospital opens in Bexhill

A new state-of-the-art hospital offering NHS eye patient services has officially opened in Bexhill-on-Sea, following a fun-filled family launch event attended by the Town Mayor.

The SpaMedica site on Enterprise Business Park will provide cataract surgery and YAG laser capsulotomy to local NHS patients in East Sussex, helping to cut waiting times for those requiring treatment to improve their vision. The new hospital will offer appointments to patients in just two to four weeks, compared to a national target of 18 weeks.

The official opening of the new hospital was marked with a launch event – attended by Bexhill-on-Sea’s Town Mayor, Councillor Paul Plim, as well as SpaMedica employees, friends and family. Community optometrists were also invited and had the opportunity to undertake a training module on preparing patients for cataract surgery. The hospital will host similar optometry training sessions on an ongoing basis.

Additionally, a competition was held by Bexhill Academy for pupils to create eye-themed artwork that will hang on the walls of the new hospital. The standard of entries was extremely high and winners were announced during the celebration and presented with their prizes by the Mayor.

Itai Mativirira (Y7) took first place in the painting category, Natalie Martin (Y10) won the drawing category, and Amalie Piper (Y0) was crowned the winner of the digital category. Runners-up included Erin McCarthy (Y8) and Airi Sato (Y10), with Jack Hawker (Y7) receiving a special commendation for his work ‘Double Vision’, which aimed to show his own experience of living with an eye condition.

SpaMedica is one of the country’s leading providers of NHS eye patient services, with 48 hospitals across the UK. 29 of those hospitals have been inspected by industry regulator the Care Quality Commission, with 12 (41%) receiving an ‘Outstanding’ rating and 17 (59%) achieving a ‘Good’ rating. In January 2023, Catherine Campbell, the CQC’s head of hospital inspection, described SpaMedica’s operating model as “an exemplar of best practice which others can, and should, learn from”.

SpaMedica’s hospitals have some of the lowest complication rates nationally, with procedures carried out by highly experienced consultant surgeons.

Hospital manager Johanna Munn said: “We’re thrilled to open the hospital and offer greater choice to residents in East Sussex, working in partnership with the NHS to reduce local waiting lists and ensure patients get rapid access to high quality treatment.

“We’re passionate about delivering the best possible care, ensuring patients receive a personalised service. We know what a difference the procedures can make to people’s lives, giving them their independence back and allowing them to get on with their favourite hobbies and activities.”

Town Mayor of Bexhill-on-Sea, Councillor Paul Plim said: ““I was very impressed with how SpaMedica reached out to our local secondary school and installed a variety of artwork created by their students. Such talent being nurtured by our local school is such a wonderful inspiration to others, I am sure.

“It is hoped that with the opening of this new hospital for cataract surgery and YAG eye treatments, SpaMedica will offer support where needed to those requiring treatment, in the local community.”

NHS patients who have been diagnosed with cataracts or posterior capsule opacification can ask for a referral to SpaMedica Bexhill through their local optician or GP.

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SpaMedica Bexhill staff with Town Mayor Cllr Paul Plim, at the hospital's launch event – L-R: Jane Langham, Johanna Munn, Tanya Crouch, Cllr Paul Plim, Emily-Jane Hammond, Fiona Evans, Paige Williamson, Charlotte Jones and Victoria Smith

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Notes to editors

SpaMedica is one of the leading providers of NHS eye patient services and, in 2018, became the largest NHS cataract surgery provider in the UK. Founded in 2008, it has 48 hospitals across the UK, with thousands of NHS patients receiving treatment at their hospitals each year. SpaMedica is part of the Veonet Group, the largest provider of ophthalmology care in Europe. The organisation believes in improving sight through excellent care which, ultimately, improves the quality of its patients’ lives. Putting the patient at the heart of everything they do, SpaMedica is focused on: ● Patient Safety ● Excellent Care ● Patient Satisfaction More than 11,750 patients have given SpaMedica hospitals a rating of 5-stars on NHS UK.

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