The Ophthalmic Department is run by a multidisciplinary team consisting of 2 Consultant Ophthalmologists, 1 Charge nurse, 3 Ophthalmic trained Staff nurses, 3 Ophthalmic trained Enrolled Nurses, 1 Ophthalmic Nursing assistant, two Optometrists, 1 Orthoptist, 1 Visual Fields Technician, 2 Department receptionists and a joint surgical secretary.
We provide comprehensive primary and secondary Ophthalmic services to the Gibraltar population. The Department is very modern and fully equipped with the latest Ophthalmic equipment including Argon Ophthalmic Laser, YAG Laser, Selective Laser for treatment for Glaucoma, latest Retinal Scanner, Retinal Camera, Ultrasonic B Scanner and fully equipped clinic rooms.
We have an on-site dedicated Ophthalmic Operating Theatre fully equipped for all type of Ophthalmic surgical procedures. We are running a very efficient Day-Case cataract surgery programme offering the latest small incision cataract surgery.
We also run a dedicated Medical Retina Service including Macular Degeneration Service.
We run a 24 hr Ophthalmic Casualty service run by our experienced Ophthalmic Nursing Staff supported by the consultants.
The Optometry Department at St Bernard’s Hospital’s Ophthalmic Unit, offers a range of services to patients. We see adults and children for refraction and exclusion of eye disease; low vision assessment; Diabetic eye screening and monitoring ; Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension screening and monitoring; and medical contact lenses.
With this assessment, an optometrist can assess the optical power of the eye, and determine if a spectacle correction is required to achieve best vision. This is provided for patients who have had ophthalmic surgery or treatment or who have been diagnosed with an eye condition, as well as children under ophthalmic or medical care, hospital in-patients, those in care homes, and patients on welfare.
Low vision assessment (LVA)
Where good vision cannot be achieved with spectacles or contact lenses, patients can be assessed in the low vision clinic. An optometrist will perform a refraction, and demonstrate low vision devices such as specialist spectacles, magnifiers or telescopes. Electronic magnifiers are also available for demonstration, as well as discussion on optimal lighting and other methods to maximise the use of remaining vision.
Diabetic Retinopathy Screening and Monitoring
This service is a multidisciplinary service with ophthalmic nurses, orthoptist and optometrists involved. All diabetics must have regular eye examinations throughout their lifetime to exclude potentially sight threatening changes which may be avoided or slowed down if caught early and timely treatment provided. We check vision level and dilate pupils with drops to be able to view the retina and check for any diabetic changes.
Glaucoma & Ocular Hypertension Screening and Monitoring
A screening and co-management service is available for glaucoma and ocular hypertension. The screening service provides investigation for patients whose eye examination show possible evidence of glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The co-management service monitors stable glaucoma patients and those on treatment for ocular hypertension. This is also a multidisciplinary service with the Orthoptist performing visual field analysis and intra ocular pressure assessment, and the Ophthalmologist available for consultation, should new treatment or a change of treatment were to be required.
Contact lens service
This is a new service to the dept. Medically required contact lenses are provided for those with conditions such as scars, grafts and degenerative disorders of the cornea who are unable to obtain appropriate levels of vision with spectacles.
The Orthoptic Department is based within the Ophthalmic Unit, working closely with the Consultant Ophthalmologist, Ophthalmic nurses and the Optometrists.
Orthoptists deal with a variety of patients of all ages, from newborns to pensioners. The visual system is developing from birth and any suspected problems should be referred as soon as they arise as treatment is more effective in the early developmental stages. Referrals are received from Health Visitors, GPs, Paediatricians, Opticians and School nurses as well as from within the Ophthalmic department following an assessment by a colleague. The main bulk of the Orthoptic workload is made up of children under the age of 8 with visual problems, such as squints (turn in the eye) and amblyopia (reduced vision in one eye). Many of these patients will be seen and managed jointly with the Optometrist as they will also be requiring glasses. Adults with double vision and eye coordination problems (due to stroke, trauma and other conditions such as Thyroid Eye Disease) are also referred to the Orthoptist for assessment and treatment. The Orthoptist also provides advice for all ages regarding squint surgery, providing measurements in a pre-op report for the Consultant Ophthalmic surgeon and review patients post-op.
Orthoptic services offered:
General Orthoptic clinics
School Vision Screening
Visual Fields (Technician)
Diabetic Retinopathy Photography Screening/grading
Coloured overlays, Colorimetry
8am – 4pm Monday to Friday.
Clinics run 9am – 4pm
Ward Clerk at counter on duty from 8:00am – 3:30pm
(1 Ophthalmic nurse on call from 4-5pm)
On-call emergency service after hours and on weekends.