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Novartis works with NHS in Bristol to launch a new eye service in the local community
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  • The new eye service in GP surgery is first of its kind in region to open outside hospital setting
  • The new service will increase local capacity to treat patients with common eye conditions such as wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and visual impairment due to diabetic macular oedema (DMO) to be treated closer to home
  • The current unit at Bristol Eye Hospital will continue to see and assess local patients who are new to ophthalmology services

Frimley, UK, November 20, 2014 – People in Bristol and the surrounding area will now be able to benefit from a new eye service based in the community, allowing care for common and treatable eye conditions to be provided closer to home.

Previously, all patients requiring treatment for conditions such as wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) or visual impairment due to diabetic macular oedema (DMO), would be treated at Bristol Eye Hospital.  The new specialist eye treatment facilities based at St Georges Medical Practice, a GP surgery in the village of Worle, near Weston-super-Mare, will help to further improve access to eye health services for people in the community.

Wet AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the UK, affecting predominantly people aged over 50. (1,2) DMO is a leading cause of visual impairment among people within the working-age population and is the most frequent cause of sight loss related to diabetes. (3) Providing efficient, convenient and high quality services to local people is, therefore, of utmost importance to the NHS.

"Today's launch is the result of a strong collaboration between Novartis and Bristol Eye Hospital. We all share the same dedication to the specialist care of people with eye conditions. These conditions can have a significant impact on patient quality of life if not appropriately treated and managed.

"We are proud to work with the NHS to identify solutions which address unmet clinical need and promote excellence in ophthalmology. This new service builds on the great work in eye care that has already taken place at Bristol Eye Hospital," said Frederic Guerard, Managing Director United Kingdom and Ireland, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd.

Earlier this year, the same service model was set up in South Bristol and, in 2015, the programme will be expanded into South Gloucestershire.

Clare Bailey, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Bristol Eye Hospital, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have set up these clinics in Weston Super Mare. There are many patients undergoing treatment for retinal disorders who need to attend monthly for their ongoing care.  They can now be treated much closer to home, with assessment and treatment all performed on the same day.

"Expanding our services using outreach clinics has also allowed us to modernise our service, helping us to treat the increasing numbers of patients, whilst maintaining access to the specialist care that the Bristol Eye Hospital team provide."


About Novartis

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2013, the Group achieved net sales of USD 57.9 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortisation charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 133,000 full-time-equivalent associates and sell products in more than 150 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

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1. Jager RD, et al. Age-Related Macular Degeneration. NEJM 2008; 358: 2606-2617

2.   Owen CG, et al. How big is the burden of visual loss caused by age related macular degeneration in the United Kingdom? Br J Ophthalmol 2003; 87: 312-317

3.   Wennick A. et al. Diabetic Macular Edema: Current and Emerging Therapies. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2012 Jan-Mar; 19(1): 4–12


Date of preparation: November 2014. OPT14-C185 

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