Did you know half of sight loss cases are avoidable by taking a few simple steps such as having regular eye tests every two years, visiting your local optician when you have a concern about your eyes, stopping smoking, eating healthily, keeping eyes covered in the sun and only drinking alcohol in moderation?

The Barnsley Vision Strategy Group is working to develop ways to prevent sight loss, promote local eye health services, develop services for Barnsley people who have a sight loss and reduce stigma.

The term “sight loss” includes people who have a sight loss that’s affecting their everyday life; they may or may not be registered as sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind).

Regular sight tests are important for everyone to keep your eyes and vision healthy. Sight tests are free for the over 60s as they are paid for by the NHS. If you require prescription eyewear talk to your dispensing optician about appropriate uses for your glasses. If you have more than one pair, it can sometimes be confusing deciding which pair to wear for which task. A simple coding system such as putting a red dot on your reading glasses – red for reading – could help prevent vision impairment because you’re wearing the wrong glasses.

What support is available at Barnsley Hospital?

The Ophthalmology Outpatients department in Barnsley Hospital is on the first floor of the hospital at the front of the building above the Emergency Department.

We have around 30 nursing staff covering Ophthalmology Outpatients – five Clinical Nurse Specialist and a Lead Nurse covering the department and the Eye Assessment Unit.

The department has several Registered Nurses, Health Care Assistants and Auxiliaries (full and part-time).

As well as our nursing and support staff, we have two Consultant Ophthalmologists, Mr Attia and Miss Firan. Other Locums and Specialist form the wider Ophthalmic team.

Eye Clinic Liaison Officer

Within the Ophthalmic service we have an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer who offers practical and emotional support to people living with sight conditions, their families and carers.

Our Eye Clinic Liaison Officer also provides advice on a range of matters including living with sight loss and remaining independent, details of the latest aids, equipment and technology and benefits and concessions you could be entitled to.

Orthoptic Department

The Orthoptic department is based within the Ophthalmology Outpatients. The staff see patients alongside doctors and also individually in their own health care professional led clinics. Paediatric patients are assessed for a number of reasons for example to assess for correct glasses prescription and adults for example double vision.

The Orthoptic department is also responsible for carrying out visual field and OCT tests. They also run the Low visual aid clinic assisting patients with aids to use at home in order to help them improve their vision etc.

Clinics

The main Ophthalmic Outpatients treat many patients during each day. There are also several Specialist clinics running on different days within this department.

These include

  • Laser clinic
  • O.C.T (Optical Coherence Tomography) clinics
  • F.F.A (Fundus Fluorescein Angiography) and Photo clinics
  • Intravitreal Injection clinics
  • Visual Fields Clinics
  • Pediatric Clinics / Screening of premature babies
  • Cataract Clinics

All Ophthalmic surgery is carried out on Day Surgery or sometimes in main theatres.