The van that may save your sight

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TWO charities have handed over the keys to a van that will help save the sight of people in the Rugby area with diabetes.

The Friends of the Hospital of St Cross and UHCW Charity joined forces to provide more than £35,000 so that patients from across Coventry and Warwickshire can access the mobile retinal screening service closer to their homes.

Patients who previously could only be screened at local hospitals can now access the service more easily.

The new mobile screening unit is fitted with a hydraulic lift, enabling assisted/disabled access to the mobile screening service for the first time.

Paula Rose, joint programme manager from the Retinal Screening Service, said: “As a result of their diabetes, patients may have mobility problems that affect their ability to access screening facilities which means they may miss their annual screening appointment.

“By having the new vehicle we can ensure more patients can be seen in the community, freeing up valuable hospital appointments and saving patients the journey to the hospital for this important test.”

The retinal screening service, run by UHCW NHS Trust, covers a very large geographical area covering the whole of Coventry and Warwickshire. The team monitors the health of the retina to detect any deterioration so that treatments can be introduced immediately to reduce or avoid blindness.

“We are thrilled to be involved with both local charities and are grateful for their invaluable support,” said Andy Hardy, chief executive of UHCW NHS Trust.

“With their help we are able to take this very important service out to the community - there is no doubt it will help to save the sight of many local people.”