Sight for sore eyes as clinic returns to Whitby

Dr Chrisjan Dees at Whitby Hospital's eye clinic
Dr Chrisjan Dees at Whitby Hospital's eye clinic

Whitby Hospital’s eye clinic has been restored after a new provider for the service was announced by the NHS.

The Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group has reached an agreement with South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to provide a full day ophthalmology clinic in the town on alternate Wednesdays.

The previous service provider, York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, stopped the clinics in Whitby in July 2014, citing staffing pressures as the reason for their closure, and leaving patients to travel to Scarborough for treatment.

Debbie Newton, chief operating and finance officer at Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG, said: “We’ve worked hard to reinstate this clinic. It is something to which we are committed to preserving and enhancing wherever it is clinically appropriate.

“We know colleagues at South Tees Hospitals very well, and we are very confident in this new service.”

Chrisjan Dees, clinical director of ophthalmology at the South Tees Hospitals Trust, revealed that four of the trust’s clinicians will run the clinic on a rotational basis, seeing patients with a range of general eye conditions.

“We’re pleased that we can offer this service to the residents of Whitby which will bring their care closer to home, making it more convenient for them,” he added.

Robert Goodwill, Whitby’s MP at the time the clinic’s return was confirmed, welcomed the news.

“Restoring the eye clinic is another example of the reversal of the tide which had seen more and more services taken away from Whitby Hospital,” he told the Gazette.