Nenagh Hospital Reporting Huge Improvement In Provision Of Cataract Care

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DCC team lead Mr Conall Hurley, Consultant Ophthalmologist (centre) with team members (from left) Dr Xinxan Budweg (SHO), Dr Taiba Baig (Senior Registrar), Rachel Gleeson (Healthcare Assistant), Adebusola Owokole (CNM2), Maureen Anderson (Staff Nurse), Louise McGeehan (Staff Nurse), Amy Ryan (Staff Nurse), Susan Hegarty (Staff Nurse), and Aoife Lynch (Optometrist).
Nenagh hospital is reporting  a huge improvement in the provision of cataract care.
The Dedicated Cataract Clinic (DCC) at the hospital reports  hat 40% of patients have their surgery within a month of consultation, and 90% undergoing their operations within four months
A GP-referral service, and the only one of its kind in Ireland, the DCC was established in July 2022 at the hospital’s modern Lough Derg suite alongside five other eye clinics (laser, intra-vitreal injections, post-operative review, pre-op assessment, and a day clinic for routine appointments).
The DCC runs twice monthly, each appointment providing patients with a consolidated, comprehensive range of tests and examinations—including consultant appointment—that traditionally would have required multiple visits.
Led by Consultant Ophthalmologist Mr Conall Hurley, the DCC’s multidisciplinary team includes a senior medical and nursing staff, an optometrist, healthcare assistants and administrative support.
In its first 12 months, up to July 2023, the DCC organised a total of 23 clinics, seeing approximately 12-15 patients per clinic.
Of the 253 patients who attended, 27 were not called for surgery, and 203 (89.8%) had their surgery within four months.
The remaining 23 patients had surgery in more than four months, with the most common reason being delayed anaesthetic pre-assessment, highlighting an area for potential process improvement that has since been solved by providing anaesthetic pre-assessment on the same day of the clinic.
Prior to the implementation of the DCC Model, most cataract patients had average wait times of two to four years for the procedure. Since July 2022, the total number of patients waiting for a procedure has reduced from 647 to 131.
The number of patients waiting longer than 12 months has decreased from 134 to just 10 and the average wait time for patients on the day case waiting list has reduced to four months  and continues to fall.