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Ruth Edwards MP visits community healthcare clinic in Nottingham

Ruth Edwards, MP for Rushcliffe, recently visited CHEC Nottingham, a community ophthalmology and gastroenterology hospital to understand more about how its service helps relieve the pressure of waiting times on the NHS.

CHEC, an independent, community provider working in partnership with Nottingham University Hospitals, and in conjunction with the Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board (ICB), has developed a model which enables patients to be seen in as little as one week, dramatically enhancing the quality of life of Nottingham residents.

Since CHEC Nottingham opened in 2021, it has treated more than 30,000 patients in both ophthalmology and gastroenterology specialisms, with an average wait time of 3 weeks.

Ms Edwards was invited to attend CHEC’s hospital, located on Nuthall Road in Aspley, to meet its clinical and management team and gain a first-hand insight into the benefits of community healthcare, including improved patient choice, increased accessibility, and shorter waiting times.

MP Ruth Edwards visits community healthcare clinic in Nottingham 2 scaled
Ruth Edwards – MP for Rushcliffe, Rhonda Borthwick – Optical Assistant, and Sharna Coleman – Patient

Ms Edwards said of her visit to the hospital: “It was great to see the fantastic facilities at the community healthcare clinic in Nottingham as well as the enthusiasm and professionalism of the team. I am delighted that this service is available to people in Rushcliffe via the NHS and that GPs across the county can refer patients to it.”

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Ophthalmology is a crucial service for diagnosing, treating, and managing general eye conditions as well as more serious issues including glaucoma and cataracts, while gastroenterology focuses on the body’s digestive system.

The introduction of community providers such as CHEC has seen positive results in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. In ophthalmology specifically, total activity was up more than 15 per cent in 2023 compared to 2019 – and average waits are down by as much as two weeks.

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