Friday, 7 March 2008

NHS 'allowed nurse to lose sight'


A retired nurse refused treatment for her failing eyesight said she was told she would have to go blind in one eye before she could have NHS treatment on the other.
Cora Slade, 74, from Sidmouth, Devon, cares for her 76-year-old husband Don, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, said: "Who is going to look after him if I go blind?"
Mrs Slade, who retired from the NHS just over 10 years ago, suffers from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - the wet variety in the left eye and the dry type in the other.
The Dublin-born pensioner was told by the Devon Primary Care Trust that it would not fund her treatment, so she has so far paid £2,400 for three treatment injections.
Mrs Slade said her eyes have deteriorated despite the treatment she has already received. She does not know how many more injections she would need.
"We have saved for our old age so we would not be a burden on the state, and we are having to use those savings to pay for the treatment," she said.
"I was told I would have to be blind in one eye before they will treat me for wet AMD in the other. Where is the logic?" she said.
Mrs Slade said the treatment she needed was given on the NHS in other parts of the country.
"It is terribly unfair but what can you do? We are old and anonymous," she said.
Last month a former Second World War pilot won his battle for NHS treatment for the same eye disease.