Health + WellnessNews


20/20 vision ahead for local residents – as new eye clinic opens near Maidstone


Tuesday 16 August …  A brand-new eye clinic is opening in West Malling bringing first class cataract and vision correction treatment to residents of Kent – including NHS cataract surgery with minimal wait for treatment.


Optegra Eye Health Care is a network of specialist eye hospitals across the UK and internationally and is expanding with the launch of Optegra Eye Clinic Maidstone, opening officially on 15 August 2022.


Richard Armitage, NHS Director for Optegra, says: “We have worked closely with the NHS for a decade and since the pandemic this work has really stepped up a gear.


“It is well known that many people across the UK face huge waiting lists due to the backlog of patients awaiting treatment, but in fact ophthalmology is the second largest waiting list.


“Many people are suffering with cataracts, which will just get worse and impact vision, for far longer than they should.  The only treatment is surgery, and we are delighted to be able to bring NHS cataract treatment in this specialist clinic to the people of Kent.


“Simply ask your optician or GP to refer you for treatment within 4-6 weeks with our leading surgical teams.”


The clinic has been formally opened by Cllr Matt Boughton, Leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and Councillor of Medway Ward, Tonbridge.  He said:


“Opening Optegra Eye Clinic Maidstone, based in Kings Hill will help significantly in tackling the ophthalmic waiting lists we see across our community. It’s great to have such investment in our local community and I’m sure they will serve residents across Tonbridge and Malling well.”


The new clinic, in Kings Hill, will initially focus only on NHS cataract surgery – however, in a few months it will extend its treatment offering to also include private cataract surgery (where patients can choose to ‘upgrade’ their lens to also be free of glasses) and also vision correction surgery – from laser eye surgery to lens replacement and implantable contact lenses.


The clinic will treat all cataract and lens replacement patients on site, while laser eye surgery patients will have pre- and post-op clinics in Optegra Eye Clinic Maidstone but have actual treatment at Optegra’s flagship hospital in London’s Harley Street district, with travel expenses covered.


The new clinic will be run by Ibrahim Toma, who has worked for Optegra almost three years, and the lead consultant ophthalmic surgeon is Mr Robert Petrarca, who says:


“I am excited to join this new venture with Optegra and help lead the clinical team in setting up a safe, efficient and patient-friendly cataract service.


“Cataract is a natural ageing of the lens of the eye which causes clouding and affects vision – symptoms can include cloudiness, faded colours and noticing glare from lights for example when driving in dusk or dark.


“The only solution is a highly successful surgical intervention where we replace the clouded lens with a new, synthetic one, in a 10-minute procedure.  It is pain-free and conducted as a day patient.  It truly transforms vision and patients tell us how much it improves their quality of life.


“Covid has led to a large backlog of cataract patients awaiting treatment and we are delighted to be able to support people in the Kent region with speedy access to treatment in this excellent, fully equipped new clinic.”


As well as bringing new jobs to the region – both medical and administrative – the clinic is being well received by local optometrists who are eager for more options to refer their patients for treatment.


The clinic can be found at Optegra Eye Clinic Maidstone, 10 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, Kent, ME19 4AR.


For more details, please visit Optegra Maidstone.



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