Enfield eye patients face trek to Edgware for operations

Regional NHS commissioning body wants to create single hub for eye surgery in North London, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Edgware Community Hospital
Edgware Community Hospital

Patients needing eye surgery in Barnet, Enfield, Haringey and Islington could have their procedures carried out at a single site in Edgware under new proposals.

NHS North Central London Integrated Care Board (NCL ICB), a regional health commissioning body, is considering creating a hub for eye surgery at Edgware Community Hospital to treat common conditions like cataracts.

If the plans go ahead, all eye surgery currently provided at Whittington Hospital in Archway, plus some activity from Royal Free Hospital in Camden and Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, will instead be carried out at Edgware.

A small number of complex eye surgeries and procedures that need to be carried out at the same site as other specialities would remain at Chase Farm Hospital and Royal Free Hospital.

Although some residents would face longer journeys, NCL ICB says the changes would enable it to carry out around 3,000 extra eye surgery procedures a year and reduce waiting times for some patients by up to four weeks.

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It says waiting lists have continued to grow following the Covid-19 pandemic, despite its efforts to reduce the backlog, and this can lead to people needing more complex care.

NCL ICB says patients would also benefit from the shared expertise and experience of clinical teams working together, with more efficient working practices likely to mean fewer last-minute delays and cancellations.

Tests and outpatient appointments would still be delivered at patients’ local or preferred hospital, and they could continue to choose which NHS provider they are referred to for care.

Existing planned eye surgery services would continue at North Middlesex University Hospital in Edmonton, the Moorfields sites (City Road Campus, St Ann’s Hospital in Tottenham and Potters Bar Community Hospital) and independent sector providers contracted to provide services for the NHS.

A consultation on the proposals has now been launched and will run until 16th October. Information on how to respond to the consultation is available at:

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