A £1.1 million extension is being created at Wolverhampton eye infirmary to cope with a 200 per cent increase in demand for sight-saving injections.
The plans, which have been given the go ahead by Wolverhampton Council, will see two new injection rooms created at the site at New Cross Hospital.
The Royal Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the infirmary, revealed that around 450 patients a month were now being treated with injections to treat the build up of fluid on the retina. The plans also include a waiting area, a new check-in desk and office area.
Hospital spokesman Paul Sheldon today said the work had already begun, and was expected to take six to seven months.
“It will create an extra two rooms to improve outpatient facilities,” he said.
“The aim is to improve the environment for patients, and current appointments will be completely unaffected.”
The trust’s head of estates development Mike Goodwin said there had been no extension to the infirmary since it moved from its previous base at Chapel Ash in 2007.
He said that in 2009/10 a total of 1,880 patients received injections to treat macula oedema, a build-up of fluid in the retina which can cause blindness if left untreated.
But by 2012/13 the number of cases had risen to 4,493. And between April and September last year a total of 2,685 patients received the treatment – an average of nearly 450 a month, compared to just over 150 a month four years ago. Mr Goodwin said the service required a clean room, and should really be carried out in a minor operating room.
“However, the minor ops capacity has been exhausted which has resulted in most of the injections being performed in valuable theatre space at the weekend,” he said.
“The building is desperately in need of an injection room in order to adequately deliver the injection service now and ensure it is future proof for the next five to eight years.”
The infirmary will also benefit from a general refurbishment as part of the scheme.