Project Name: Joint working - Frimley Mobile Macular unit refurbishment Project

Project Summary:

This project aims to complete a refurbishment and re-fit of the Mobile Macular unit currently employed as a vital component of Frimley Health’s Ophthalmology Macular service, to improve the unit’s infection control measures and facilitate ongoing utilisation of this resource.

The Mobile Macular Unit (MMU) serves the Frimley ICS population and is an integral element of the delivery of macular service. The macular service comprises macular care delivery at Frimley Park Hospital as the hub with the mobile macular unit delivering clinical activity within 4 community settings; Basingstoke, Aldershot, Farnborough and Camberley on an established weekly rota. The MMU moves between these established sites, remaining in situ for 1 week prior to mobilisation to the next site.

The Mobile Macular unit is now 7 years of age and has been evaluated to be at increased risk of un-planned downtime and potential of de-commissioning due to ageing components, deteriorating structural integrity and facilities though wear and tear following high volume utilisation over its lifetime. This has resulted in an increasing number of cancelled appointments. These range from lack of water systems or failure of electricity. This has resulted in adding to the already increased backlog of patients waiting to be treated as well as the morbidity associated with this.

This therefore places significant risk on continued clinical activity at the current volume and throughput within the Macular Service. Reduction/ cessation in patient access to this vital facility due to in-operability would in turn overburden service availability and delivery at the Frimley Park Hub leading to an expected increase in access issues for patients and its corresponding impact on patient’s treatment intervals and ultimately patient treatment outcomes.

Planned Milestones:

Frimley Mobile Macular unit refurbishment project milestones

Expected Benefits:

Anticipated benefits for Patients:

  • Maintenance of access to the Mobile Macular Unit within distributed close to home locations at planned schedule.
  • Maintenance of established patient’s treatment intervals
  • Improvement of Infection control measures, reducing risk of infection.
  • Ensure patient confidence and satisfaction in delivery of their care

Anticipated benefits for the NHS:

  • Decrease substantially infection risk of the MMU
    • Improvement of infection control measures
    • Reduce risk of service acquired infection
    • Reduce associated morbidity
  • Maintenance of established treatment intervals
  • Increase morale and improve working conditions of staff
  • Increase capacity of main outpatients
  • Increase activity levels and decrease COVID related backlog- Return to pre-pandemic levels of activity
  • Eliminate appointment cancellations and reduce pressure on capacity of the main outpatients

Start Date & Duration: February 2022 – November 2022


Project Name: Frimley Mobile Macular Unit Refurbishment Project

Partner Organisation(s): Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

Completion Date: December 2022

Outcome Summary:

  • Completion of a refurbishment and re-fit of the Mobile Macular Unit (MMU) employed as a vital component of Frimley Health’s Ophthalmology Macular Service.
  • Increase activity levels and decrease COVID related backlog with a return to pre-pandemic levels of activity.

Key Project Outcomes Data:

  • Since refurbishment, from June 2022- Dec 2022 the MMU has seen 4663 patients vs 2332 and carried out 2185 injections 1045 for the same time period in 2021.
  • 95% of patients prefer the MMU compared to attending the main hospital.


The MMU has been in operation in Frimley for over seven years and helped ensure, during the COVID-19 pandemic, that patients could continue to receive timely treatment, however significant refurbishment was required to maintain patient care and reinstate activity levels to that from before the pandemic.

The unit underwent refurbishment and was re-opened June 2022 and now sees up to 250 patients per week, this is a significant increase from during the pandemic when, on average, approximately 120 patients were seen per week.

The refurbishment addressed the significant risk of infection posed to patients receiving intravitreal procedures by the installation of updated and improved air exchange systems in the injection rooms in accordance with Royal College of Ophthalmology guidance. This reduction in risk of infection was enhanced by the replacement of washable wall covering, replacement worktops and improved hygiene facilities including sinks, water chlorination and deep clean.

The levels of appointment cancellation due to the issues with structural elements of the MMU has now been reduced by approximately 70%. The backlog of patients waiting to be treated as a result of the poor condition of the unit were seen at the main hospital with extra clinics, these additional clinics have now been able stop as a result of the refurbishment.

The refurbishment has contributed to improved patient experience by continuing to provide care closer to home (measured by patient surveys) and improved patient experience by increasing the efficiency of the clinic, thereby reducing the length of time spent at the appointment (this has been measured by a patient experience survey). Top words used to describe the service from the patient survey were STAFF, EVERYTHING, HELPFUL, FRIENDLY, TIME, CARE, EXCELLENT, SERVICE, WELL, GOOD.

Quote from Partner:

‘This refurbishment has made a huge improvement in patient care by providing the service in the community giving greater accessibility and reducing the need to attend the hospital’

Dr Lorraine North
Head of Ophthalmology and Strategy Lead
AHP Consultant Orthoptics and Ophthalmology
Frimley Park Hospital


The refurbished mobile unit continues to solve some of the current capacity issues experienced by the Trust, continues to improve patient experience by delivering care closer to home, whilst ensuring visual acuity outcomes are maintained and improvements demonstrated in patient outcomes.


UK | UK2203112115 | March 2022