Media Information June 2020

Thanks to the huge generosity of Birmingham Royal Institution for the Blind (BRIB) and Hospital Saturday Fund (HSF), Focus Birmingham have purchased a state of the art Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) machine, now installed at the Harborne site.

Geoffrey Oakley BRIB Chairman commented, ‘BRIB is proud to have supported Focus Birmingham to buy this OCT machine which will help in the early detection of sight loss for hundreds of people in the local area.  At a time where services are stretched in many areas it is fantastic that the help that Focus can offer is being expanded in this way.’

The RNIB¹ estimate that every day 250 people in the UK start to lose their sight, with 50% of this sight loss being avoidable. Prevention of further unnecessary sight loss is a key aim of the service that Focus Birmingham offers. The Sight Loss Support Service delivers a high quality vision rehabilitation service that supports in excess of 1,500 local people with visual impairment per year to make the best use of their residual vision.

Focus Birmingham’s Sight Loss Support Services Lead, and Lead Optometrist, Andrew Miller commented, ‘I am absolutely delighted to have our new OCT machine installed and ready to use. The purchase of an OCT machine will greatly enhance the service that we can provide here at Focus Birmingham.  It will enable us to detect problems even earlier, preventing further unnecessary sight loss in those with low vision.

At this time when we are looking to re-open up our clinics, the OCT machine can help us to more accurately understand, monitor and assess the changes due to eye disease. With this latest development in imaging equipment we can make more precise diagnosis of changing eye conditions, and more accurate referral for those needing treatment from the hospital eye departments. At a time when the NHS services are stretched, having an OCT means that we can manage our patients better in our clinic, only referring patients who would benefit from treatment, thus freeing valuable hospital clinic time.

We are incredibly grateful to BRIB and HSF who have enabled this vital purchase, as we know it will make a huge difference every day to the people we support.’


[1] RNIB State of the Nation Eye Health 2017