Drive-through clinic set up for sight-saving injections for vulnerable patients

A drive-through service has been set up by a hospital to give sight-saving injections to vulnerable patients.

University Hospital Southampton (UHS) has set up the service for patients with age-related macular degeneration – the leading cause of vision loss in people aged over 60.

A UHS spokesman said: “Some patients have additional health conditions which make them extremely vulnerable and are required to ‘shield’, which means they should stay at home at all times and avoid face-to face contact during the lockdown period.

“To ensure that patients in this situation are still able to receive their sight-preserving injections, the ophthalmology team at UHS has redesigned its services to reduce the risk in all patients who need the treatment.”

When patients arrive for the drive-through service, a member of staff carries out a temperature check and screens them for Covid-19 symptoms before walking them to the injection suite where they will receive their injection in the process which takes about 15 minutes.

Aby Jacob, clinical lead for ophthalmology at UHS, said: “Our drive-through service is a great innovation for patients and is the first step for us in ensuring patients can continue to access the treatment they need.

“As the eye unit is located in a Covid-free area of the hospital, we are developing plans to restart more services with a low volume of patients – to allow for social distancing – who are at higher risk of visual loss in the coming weeks.”