A NEW piece of £47,000 equipment is making 'a dramatic difference' at Wharfedale Hospital.

The state-of-the art cataract biometry machine has been installed to improve the quality of pre-assessments for eye patients.

The device, an IOLMaster 700 manufactured by Zeiss, was purchased for the Otley hospital by the Leeds Hospital Charitable Foundation.

It is used to map out patients' eyes on a high definition screen in preparation for cataract surgery - and staff say it is already delivering improvements.

Senior Sister in Pre-Assessment, Karen Waterhouse, said: "The Pre-assessment nursing team are delighted with the new IOL eye machine.

"The advanced technology means quicker and more efficient readings and, due to its reliability and accuracy, we are reducing the need for patients to attend St James’ Hospital for further measurements.

"This will help make the patient experience at Wharfedale Hospital more satisfying."

The machine uses sophisticated technology to obtain a highly detailed, full-length scan of the entire eye, while a 'fixation check' mechanism ensures patients are focusing correctly.

That results in images where subtle flaws in the shape of the eye can more easily be spotted, leading to a higher chance of surgical success.

Staff Nurse Paula Hudders said: "We are very thankful to have received the new IOLMaster here in the Pre-assessment department.

"It has given us the opportunity to provide a first-class service to our cataract patients at Wharfedale Hospital.

"Patients are now able to receive a fully comprehensive treatment from diagnosis to discharge.

"A very satisfying outcome for all concerned."

The hospital serves both the Otley community and patients from across Leeds who have been referred to it or ask to be treated there, if possible.

Pre-assessment Patient Services Co-Ordinator, Sarah Dodsworth, said: "The new machine is a huge coup for our department and joins an already impressive repertoire of patient services at Wharfedale Hospital

"It gets readings spot on every time, making the patient journey more efficient and outcomes more reliable."

Chief Executive of Leeds Hospital Charitable Foundation, David Welch, added: "We’re delighted to have provided the funding for such a worthwhile cause.

"It’s clear the machine is already making a dramatic difference to staff and patients and we’re extremely proud to be a part of this."