AN ELMDON man fears he could lose his sight due to delays in treatment for his eye condition.
John Parsons, aged 74, suffers from macular degeneration (AMD) – an age-related disorder which can cause worsening eyesight or blindness.
Mr Parsons needs an injection every eight weeks to repair blood vessels in his eye which limits the damage caused by his condition.
After previously experiencing delays in his treatment, he should have received his latest injection on Wednesday, July 18.
Concerned that he had not been given a date for the procedure, he contacted the eye clinic at Solihull Hospital on Lode Lane.
He was told there could be a four to six-week delay in his treatment – by which time Mr Parsons fears his eyes could significantly deteriorate.
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) confirmed to us delays for the injections at Solihull Hospital.
And this has prompted a six-month temporary postponement of all new AMD referrals.
The NHS is referring patients suffering from delays to a private eye-care company, Aspen Midlands Eye, which provides the treatment for free.
Mr Parsons, who formerly worked for the Driving Standards Agency, said: “I was told there will be four to six week delays which is obviously concerning if these delays are going to carry on.
“We should be having regular injections to maintain the sight that we have got.
“This has been going on now for two years or more. From past experience, I know you get a letter around four weeks in advance – so I will have to wait more than four weeks.
“I could lose my sight – not entirely – but I have already lost nearly all my vision in my right eye.
“And on my left eye I have to use a magnifying glass to see.
“I haven’t got a family which is another concern because obviously if I do deteriorate then in effect the NHS is going to have to look after me even more.”
A spokesperson for UHB said: “While we are unable to disclose details of a patient’s medical records, we would advise them or their family to contact the hospital directly to discuss any concerns they may have with their treatment.
“Solihull, Good Hope and Heartlands hospitals are currently experiencing some delays within the specialist Ophthalmology injection service and have requested a six month temporary reprieve on all new AMD referrals.
“UHB and Birmingham, Solihull CCG have been working with Aspen Midland Eye who will be able to accept referrals of all new macular referrals during this period while we reduce injection waiting times.”