The purpose-built eye clinic, located in the Gledhow Wing and costing £8.5 million, has opened at St James’ Hospital after consultations with patients to make sure the design and the layout meet the needs of partially-sighted people.
Craig Richardson, Director of Estates and Facilities at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT): “This is an exciting moment for what is our largest outpatient department in Leeds. We see a significant number of eye patients every week and this purpose-built environment will provide a setting that is both cutting-edge in its design and sympathetic to the needs of visually-impaired patients.”
There are larger rooms, clearer wayfinding and improved access.The 2,500 square metre facility features 108 rooms, including consultation rooms, central diagnostic rooms, a refractive unit, as well as a virtual clinic room.
Ophthalmology treats over 100,000 outpatients each year, making it the largest outpatient department at LTHT. It is hoped that the new location will help to reduce the backlog of patients waiting for treatment since the pandemic.
Jonathan Bilmen, Clinical Director of Head and Neck services at LTHT “I’m really proud to see the completion of this state-of-the-art facility which will massively improve patient care in Ophthalmology outpatients. This is the culmination of an £8.5m investment and a huge amount of planning and multidisciplinary input to ensure we deliver the best in care. I want to thank all our clinical and non-clinical teams, patient groups, capital planning, and our contractors, who have worked together to get us to this point. Accessibility has been really important to us, and we have worked closely alongside our patient panel to incorporate features that will help visually-impaired patients throughout the department, including different coloured waiting areas and easily identifiable zones.”
An emphasis on designing wide corridors with lots of natural light has ensured the new department is easy to navigate for its patients. Wall art included in the new department displays familiar Yorkshire scenes, creating a pleasant environment inspired by nearby countryside, as well as providing further wayfinding cues for visitors.
Cover photograph: Wall art inside the new eye outpatients department at St James’s Hospital.