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REI moves from Derriford Hospital to brand-new state-of-the-art facility

By November 3, 2023Healthcare
Royal Eye Infirmary – Bob and Ann image

The new REI (Royal Eye Infirmary) celebrated a grand opening on 18 October. People with eye conditions in Devon and Cornwall and the surrounding areas can now access the brand-new state-of-the-art facility.

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust’s REI has moved from Derriford Hospital to Alpha Way, off William Prance Road, and includes theatres, an increased number of treatment rooms and an expanded area for children.

Cutting the ribbon on the day, was 96-year-old patient Robert Johns, who praised staff for a lifetime of treatment under the service of the Plymouth REI.

Ann James, Chief Executive at UHP said: “Many of our patients will remember the move in 2013 from Mutley to Derriford and, as we are preparing for the future hospital with major development and investment in our estate, this is a key milestone in opening improved high-quality services for our community.

“We’re so proud of all the teams who, as always, have worked so hard to make this new facility a reality; from the building project itself, to the fit out of all of the equipment and theatres, to staffing. I know our teams are looking forward to working here, and I’m sure patients will be impressed.”

Lizzie Padgett, Head Orthoptist, explains how the move is good news for patients: “We can now expand our REI team, which will allow us to treat more patients in a new purpose-built eye hospital, which has more clinical space. This should see a reduction in waiting times for those accessing REI services”.

“Here in the Southwest, we serve an aging population which means that eye care and eye issues continue to increase, with more people experiencing conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.”

Royal Eye Infirmary – Group imageThe new building includes a third operating theatre dedicated to sub-specialisms, such as oculoplastic, orbital and corneal surgeries. As a specialism, Ophthalmology (Eye Services) has a lower reliance on an acute hospital site, making it a suitable candidate for a move away from the Derriford Hospital site. However, Paediatric surgery and specialist ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) treatment will remain on site at Derriford.

The REI opened to the public on 9 October, with improved access for patients, a drop-off zone and parking.

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