Stevenage’s Lister Hospital eye clinic up for award

Lister Hospital in Stevenage

Lister Hospital in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

A hospital eye clinic which GPs stopped referring patients to has been nominated for a national award after being taken over by the NHS.

The macular service team at Lister Hospital in Stevenage is in the running for the clinical service of the year award as part of the Macular Society’s Awards for Excellence.

The nomination recognises exceptionally good practice in the care of people with macular degeneration, which affects the central vision and is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK.

The news comes less than a year after the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust took over the privately-run Lister Surgicentre, as it was then known.

The facility, which includes the eye clinic, was handed over to the Trust in September after it was deemed to have put patients’ health and welfare at risk under the previous regime. GPs had stopped referring new ophthalmology patients to the Lister Surgicentre in August 2012 due to a backlog.

The Trust’s chief executive Nick Carver said: “Back in September 2013, the secretary of state for health asked us to take over the management of the former Lister Surgicentre from Carillion, which included the ophthalmology service. We always knew they were a great team, but they had struggled with poor management systems. Since that time, they have worked hard to transform their service, regaining the trust of our patients, GPs and opticians. Being nominated for this award is a true recognition of their achievements to date.”

Margaret Hammond from Hitchin was one of the people who nominated the team for the award.

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She said: “The ophthalmology team at the treatment centre of Lister Hospital is exceptional. The whole team work together to give wonderful care to all their patients.”

Judges will now have to decide on the overall winners and present them with their awards at the society’s annual London conference on September 27.

The awards are organised annually by the Macular Society, a national charity which provides support to anyone affected by central vision loss.

For information contact the charity’s helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email