Moving health to the high street: real-life case study

Work underway in Manchester shows how intertwined technological and economic revolutions can be harnessed to create a health revolution in which streamlined care is brought closer to the UK’s rapidly aging population.

Putting more NHS healthcare assets into the heart of local communities presents an exciting opportunity to increase efficiency, lower costs, improve staff wellbeing, while reducing clinical risk. There is now a once-in-a-generation chance to embrace economic and technological changes and put healthcare right where it is most needed.

One example of this new model is the Trafford Macular Treatment Centre, which has opened in two high-street shop units. It is a joint venture between the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH), pharmaceutical company Novartis and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

The centre joined two others in providing follow-up consultations and treatment services to patients living with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), which blurs vision in older people.  Around 14% of people over 80 are affected by the condition1.

Patient Valarie Wrigley, who was 80 at the time of the opening, said: “I find the service much easier to access and much more convenient. I have to come in quite frequently – every six weeks – and before moving my appointments to Trafford, it would take up my entire day with travel, but here, I am in and out and the staff are lovely.”

Sajjad Mahmood, consultant ophthalmologist and clinical lead for the medical retina team commented: “I am a great believer in the model which meant we did not have to contend with the limitations of the infrastructure at the central hospital site. We managed to make the cost of the centre stack up because in high street locations costs are not the highest.”

Read the full article in the Clinical Services Journal.

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