Olympian opens redeveloped eye hospital


A ribbon-cutting event has been held to officially mark the opening of the Sussex Eye Hospital redevelopment. Close to £3 million has been spent on essential exterior work, such as windows and roof, and internal redevelopments that have significantly improved the services and environment for patients, as well as staff.

Event attendees included Trust Chair Antony Kildare and a star of the Team GB Olympic team who has praised staff at the Sussex Eye Hospital for helping her win an olympic silver medal. Champion dressage rider Fiona Bigwood has been a patient at the hospital for the last two and a half years after suffering a riding accident that left her with double vision. She has continued to compete for her country in dressage wearing a patch over one eye and claimed a silver medal with Team GB at the Rio Olympics in the summer.

Fiona said: “I can’t praise the care I have received enough – it has been amazing. When I first had my accident, I thought I wouldn’t be able to carry on competing but the treatment I have received has been fantastic and has helped me to carry on competing. All the staff are wonderful and every patient I have spoken to has nothing but good things to say about the care they receive.”

The redvelopment has included the expansion of two outpatient areas and eight new clinical spaces to ensure that patients are being seen in an appropriate setting sooner, reducing waiting times and improving the patient experience. There are also two new dedicated waiting rooms, one for adults and one specifically tailored for children.

Consultant Opthalmic Surgeon Mr Edward Hughes, explains: “There has been substantial investment in the new facilities and we are grateful also for charitable donations which have been used to purchase new equipment to improve patient care and outcomes. The redevelopment would not have been possible without a truly multi-disciplinary team effort and close working with our dedicated partners and charities including Rockinghorse and Onward Arts.”

Fiona said: “The new refurbishments are such an improvement and make such a positive difference to patients and staff. I can’t thank the staff enough for the care they have provided so it is a real honour to be able to be officially opening the new facilities.”

Photo: Fiona Bigwood cuts the ribbon, alongside Trust Chair Tony Kildare, Head of Orthoptics Joy White and project manager Dixon Au