The Lancashire Eye Centre, which opened yesterday afternoon, has been declared “a dream come true” by staff.
It is the first unit of its kind in the country.
This week, the Lancashire Post and Chorley Guardian was invited for a sneak preview of the unit before it opened.
Ophthalmology Manager Lisa McKenna told us: “It’ a fantastic facility.
“We have expanded massively.
“It’s the first of its kind, a purpose-built unit.
“We want to deliver good quality patient care where staff will also feel good delivering that quality of care.”
The building has three floors and will be able to deal with an increased number of patients in comparison with the current ophthalmology unit.
The new unit includes a dedicated outpatient and diagnostic space, as well as three additional theatres to provide extra capacity for patients requiring a variety of day case procedures.
The centre will provide increased capacity for patients requiring urgent emergency clinical and cataract services through the NHS.
Consultant Ophthalmologist Shveta Bansal, who will lead the team at the new eye centre at the Chorley and South Ribble Hospital site, said: “We are really pleased to be able to provide this additional facility which will help us to improve patient experience.
“It will give our patients a choice of location and access to state-of-the-art facilities.
“These are fully equipped with the latest in ophthalmic technology with ward and day-case lounge area designed for optimum patient comfort and flow.”
Shveta’s first surgery was due to take place this morning to treat cataracts, followed by a glaucoma operation in the afternoon.
The ophthalmology department deals with the highest number of patients out of any section of the hospital.
It employs over 90 staff, including 13 consultants.
The new unit has been designed with the patient experience at the forefront.
The various segments of the building are colour-coded to help patients get to grips with the layout easier, especially those who are visually impaired and struggle to read signs.
Lisa added: “We have never done eye surgery in the one place it was very fragmented mixed with others.
“Now patients can just go to the one place.
“We have lived and breathed this for four years.
“It’s a dream come true.”