Transplant-funded Eye Bank for N&N

THE Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been selected by NHS Blood and Transplant as one of ten centres nationally for transplant-funded Eye Banks.

THE Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been selected by NHS Blood and Transplant as one of ten centres nationally for transplant-funded Eye Banks.

To meet the challenge of improving cornea donation rates, NHS organisations were invited to apply to join the scheme and become an NHS Blood and Transplant-funded Eye Retrieval Centre.

Twenty two high calibre applications were submitted and among the final selection of ten centres appointed for the next three years is the Norfolk and Norwich.

The hospital already has an Eye Bank and the team's strong track record has lead to a successful bid in the face of extensive competition nationally.

Specialist nurses work with families to identify suitable corneas for transplantation. The team will then harvest the organ and it is then held in a central laboratory in Bristol for issue to eye surgeons around the country.

NNUH consultant ophthalmologist Mr Chris Illingworth said: “We transplant donated corneas here in Norwich and that act of donation has a tremendous benefit to people locally who need new corneas. Our Eye Bank has a great deal of expertise in this field and we are delighted to have been selected. In recent years it has become harder and harder to get people to consider donating organs. We would like to stress to people that, in the event of losing a loved one, donating an organ for transplantation has a huge and positive impact on others.”