NHS workers walk their way to enhancing local glaucoma service

Posted on in The Friarage

The walkers outside the Northallerton eye outpatients department

A team of NHS workers from the Friarage are walking 500 miles throughout November to help raise funds for the Friends of the Friarage.

The money raised by the ten members of staff from the hospital’s eye outpatient department will be used by the Friends to purchase a much needed piece of equipment that will allow the team to monitor and screen glaucoma patients closer to home.

The ocular response analyser (ORA) will be used to measure the pressure inside patients’ eyes to help diagnose glaucoma, which is an age-related eye condition that when not treated can result in eyesight loss.

Currently patients needing glaucoma diagnosis are often asked to travel to The James Cook University Hospital. But, if the Friarage team were able to have their own ORA machine they’d be able to set up a clinic in Northallerton, saving the need for patients to travel further afield.

Glaucoma consultant Mr David Lunt said: “It is critical as healthcare professionals we try and develop novel pathways whilst maintaining the utmost standards of healthcare in terms of delivery and safety for our patients.

“The purchase of this diagnostic equipment could potentially benefit over 600 patients local to Friarage per year.

“We would be extremely grateful for any donations and would like to say thank you to the Friends for supporting our walking challenge and for helping us provide the best possible care at the Friarage.”

The Friends of the Friarage are known locally for purchasing state of the art medical equipment and supporting the development of innovative services.

Susan Watson, Friends liaison trustee for the eye outpatients department said: “We’re delighted to support this excellent collective fundraising initiative which staff are managing on top of their day jobs and personal commitments.

“The purchase of this equipment will facilitate early preventative work as well as benefit patients by greatly reducing travel time.”

Throughout the month the team will be keeping people up-to-date with their walking progress via their Just Giving page and on the Friends of the Friarage’s Facebook page.

If you would like to sponsor them you can do so via https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/friendsoffhn