Rochdale Ophthalmology CATS
Rochdale Ophthalmology CATS

Surgery helps 90 year old Rochdale man keep working and driving

July 1 2015

Ninety-year-old Mr Denis Stanford is remarkable in many ways – not only does he still work as an engineer but he drives to work and now, thanks to cataract surgery, he is able to keep on with his activities.

Mr Stanford had cataract surgery with another provider 11 years ago but on a recent visit to his optician he was told that a cataract in his other eye was progressing to the point where he wouldn’t be able to drive or carry out the fine, detailed work that he carries out at PN Daly Engineering in Milnrow.

His daughter Mrs Rachel Aston was surprised when, after being referred via his GP, the family learnt that Mr Stanford would have to wait 18 weeks for the operation. She said: “It is a long time to wait at any age but particularly so at 90. Also my father was keen to be able to keep working and driving.”

The family decided to investigate private surgery which, though it would have cut the waiting time, would have cost £2,400 in an NHS hospital and £2,800 in a private hospital. Mrs Aston said: “We agreed to go ahead, because we wanted my father to have the operation quickly, but then my sister, Dr Penelope Stanford, saw an article in the local paper informing people that Care UK’s Rochdale Ophthalmology Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS) is an NHS service with very short waiting times.

“We approached CATS and were given a date for the operation within three weeks. We were delighted. Coincidentally, my mother had been the very first person treated by the service when it opened at the Croft Shifa Health Centre three years ago, and she had been delighted with her cataract operation.”

Mr Stanford said that his experience of the centre was excellent and he experienced none of the pain he had experienced before. He said “I would love to be in clinic every day to reassure the patients that might be worried that it’s a quick and painless procedure and the staff are very caring”.

Mr Stanford, who was a weapons developer with Ferranti until he retired at 65, has now returned to work at PN Daly after taking two weeks to recover from the surgery. With a new prescription for glasses he is also hoping to be back behind the wheel of his car soon.

Mrs Aston said: “We are so pleased that, through Care UK, he was able to enjoy an excellent, free NHS service just two miles from his home. Not only was everyone professional and cheerful but the surgery has allowed my father to keep leading the life he loves.”

Karen Goodall, lead consultant at Rochdale CATS, said: “ At Rochdale Ophthalmology CATS we pride ourselves not only in our short waiting times and gold standard care but also in our highly efficient booking process, where every patient is given the opportunity to choose a date for surgery to both eyes. After their first appointment they will have dates for pre-operative assessment, surgery and post-operative review for both eyes. We feel this reassures patients so that they know exactly when their second eye will be done. It is our aim to complete bilateral cataract surgery within 12 weeks of referral from the GP.”