"The team were all as amazing as ever – kind, caring, fun and very reassuring"Posted: Tuesday 28 April 2020
While many people are understandably nervous about attending their eye clinic at the moment amid the outbreak of the coronavirus, we are hearing nothing but positive things from those who are still receiving injections.
Judith Selby developed wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 2016 and has been attending regular injections since. She, like many others, admits she was nervous about attending her appointment last week, but she knew that getting her injections as usual would give her the best chance of maintaining her sight.
Following her visit she was keen to reassure others about her experiences.
Judith says: “Last Wednesday, I grasped the nettle and, with my husband Tony, left our home for the first time in six weeks. It was my birthday! Were Tony and I breaking the lockdown rules? No, we had to attend the Kidderminster Eye Clinic for my bilateral injections for Wet AMD that were due. So it was a Bone Fide trip out, courtesy of the NHS.
"I prepared well before I went, wearing clothes that I could easily take off and wash when we got back home, making a face mask from instructions I found on the web, and taking a pair of gloves with me too. As you would expect, everything in the hospital was done to protect the staff and the patients. I was not allowed into the unit until I had answered general questions about my health and where I had recently been (nowhere, I said!). They also took my temperature and then watched me thoroughly wash my hands with hand gel. There was a stripey black and yellow line to stand behind at the reception desk to keep you the right distance away, and chairs were positioned the required distance apart.
"I was called in on time, and, needless to say, the team were all as amazing as ever – kind, caring, fun and very reassuring! (and they greatly admired my home made face mask too!!) I even got my hand held as usual! (We both had our gloves on!).
"Also, for anyone concerned, they are not doing any sight tests in clinic at the moment, to reduce the risk of contamination. Because of that, they have put everyone on an eight week rolling programme of injections only, asking them to be extra vigilant, offering an Amsler grid to help with this."
Judith has recently been involved in a new project with Novartis called See What's Next. The aim of the campaign, which is supported by the Macular Society, is to raise awareness of AMD and promote the importance of maintaining independence for as long as possible following a diagnosis. The campaign has now finished.
At the moment routine appointments in eye clinics continue to be postponed. However, injections for wet AMD and other conditions which would cause severe visual loss if not treated, are still going ahead.
Clinics are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure patient safety and minimise any risk of infection.
If you have any concerns or would like to speak to someone about your condition the Macular Society's Advice and Information Service is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm on 0300 3030 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org