BBC Breakfast star Dan Walker to open new £6.7m eye centre
Broadcaster Dan Walker is to officially open the Northern General Hospital’s new £6.7m eye centre today (Monday 15 October) at 2pm.
The TV personality, who is best known for presenting BBC television programmes including Football Focus (2009–present) and BBC Breakfast (2016–present), will join patients and staff to unveil a plaque marking the official opening of the centre. The opening coincides with the 1,000th patient being treated at the new Centre.
The new purpose-built cataract eye centre, which is one of the first-of-its-kind centres in the UK, provides high quality cataract eye care and surgery for thousands of patients in Sheffield and the surrounding region.
Cataract eye surgery is the most commonly performed operation on the NHS, with around 330,000 operations performed across the NHS a year. A cataract occurs when the lens, or the small transparent disc inside the eye, starts to develop cloudy patches. Over time these patches become bigger and cause blurry, misty vision. If untreated, they will cause complete blindness in one or both eyes.
The opening of the unit is particularly pertinent for Dan, who suffered with a painful eye infection which was widely reported in the national news after his BBC Breakfast co-host Steph McGovern had to step in at the last minute to present the popular morning TV programme. The infection was successfully treated by the Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s emergency eye team, with Dan back on air the next day. Although emergency services are not provided at the new cataract eye centre, Dan will, like many patients undergoing cataract eye surgery at the centre, understand how nerve-wracking a vision problem can be.
Mr Stephen Winder, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Sheffield’s £6.7m eye centre, said: “We are delighted that Dan Walker has accepted our invitation to open our leading cataract eye centre, particularly as we reach our 1,000th patient milestone.
The new centre has been pivotal in helping us to provide excellent outcomes and personalised care to thousands of patients needing cataract eye surgery in accessible and spacious surroundings. Boasting some of the very best ophthalmic and assessment facilities in the world, the new facility has revolutionised care for patients needing cataract eye surgery as they can have all their diagnostic tests, pre-operative assessments and readiness for surgery completed in just one visit, saving unnecessary repeat trips prior to surgery.
“As well as our hi-tech operating theatres, patients benefit from dedicated pick up and drop off zones, a large, welcoming reception area, a named nurse to ‘hold their hand’ during surgery. Patients also see the same consultant as they saw at their outpatient appointment on the day of their surgery. It’s testament to the success of the centre that just a few months in from becoming operational we are celebrating our 1,000th patient milestone.”