Matthew Neville

Eye care clinic looks to ease NHS pressure with Gateshead Metrocentre site opening

CHEC (Community Health and Eye Care), one of the largest providers of community based ophthalmology services in the UK, has announced the launch of a new centre in the Gateshead Metrocentre offering eyecare treatment.

With NHS backlogs reaching a record of 6.4 million, CHEC believes that the NHS “cannot be left to face these growing backlogs alone”. In particular, ophthalmology faces significant backlogs with over half a million people currently waiting for ophthalmology services.

CHEC’s new treatment centre in Gateshead will support the NHS in addressing this growing backlog by providing eyecare services to the local community.

Equally, by offering ophthalmology services in Gateshead, CHEC’s new treatment centre will play a role in addressing regional backlogs in the North East. Newcastle and Gateshead have faced particularly significant backlogs with 100,000 people currently waiting for treatment.

Of those waiting for treatment, over 14,000 are waiting for eyecare services, with ophthalmology being the worst affected department. CHEC’s new service will step in to ease the backlog and ensure patients are seen “as quickly as possible”.

With the first patients expected in the Gateshead Metrocentre in early June, this new centre opening follows other recent openings, including in Nottingham and Leicester, and forms part of CHEC’s wider drive to deliver new centres across the country.

This roll out of new sites underpins CHEC’s continued ambition to support the NHS in reducing backlogs and provide patients with efficient and high-quality care.

Jon Dore, chief operating officer at CHEC, commented: “The launch of our new Newcastle Gateshead site is a very exciting next step in our ongoing aim to provide high-quality and efficient ophthalmology services across the country.

“With Newcastle and Gateshead facing particularly significant backlogs in the wake of the pandemic, our local eyecare services will offer support in addressing these regional backlogs.

“Equally, with some patients facing wait times as long as two years for vital services, our new centre will help ensure patients receive high-quality care when they need it with patient-focused care remaining our priority.”

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