Welcome to Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital

Treatment for all patients has been greatly enhanced by our supporters.

For every £1 raised, we spend 96p supporting the hospital, 2p running the charity and 2p on publicity or raising funds.

Become a Friend

Join us for just £5 a year or support us in other ways.

Make a donation

You can donate in many ways, including cash, cheques, BACS, debit or credit card.

Read our newsletters

Please have a look at recent editions of our In Sight newsletter.

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grants made
To contact us, we recommend that you telephone or email (details in Contact).  We all work from home and post sent via the hospital can be delayed.  If you need to post anything, please call or email and we will give you a home address. Thank you.
If you plan to visit an NHS hospital in Bristol or Weston, please see:

Ophthalmology Equipment for Weston General Hospital

The ophthalmology service at Weston General Hospital includes adult and paediatric services.  Expanding the service in Weston avoids families having to travel up to Bristol for their care and allows precious resource to be used at BEH for Bristol-area patients.

The service required some additional ophthalmology equipment which the Friends were happy to fund to improve patient care and boost staff morale.

This grant cost £11,202.

23 February 2024

Laser Teaching Attachment

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) should be offered to all suitable patients newly diagnosed with ocular hypertension (OHT) or open angle glaucoma (OAG) as their initial treatment in place of eye drops.

Compared with medication, SLT provides a stable drop-free high pressure control for patients with a reduced need for surgery at a lower cost.  Based on the evidence, SLT is the most cost-effective first-line treatment option for OAG and OHT, also providing better clinical outcomes.

To meet this increased demand, BEH needed to train optometrists to deliver SLT.  Glaucoma specialist optometrists are already successfully delivering this service around the UK including other centres of excellence such as Moorfields and Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.  It also frees up senior medical staff from delivering laser to see more complex glaucoma patients.

To safely train optometrists, BEH needed a teaching attachment for the laser so that the trainee can both observe treatment and be observed.  The Friends were happy to meet this need.

This grant cost £6,830.

23 February 2024

Improved staff facilities in the Galleries Diagnostic Assessment Centre

We have paid for the repair and decoration of facilities for staff in the Bristol Eye Hospital Diagnostic Assessment Centre which opened in the old Post Office in the Galleries Shopping Centre in 2023.

Staff working in the diagnostic service provide an excellent service which has been highly praised in feedback from patients.  The improved ‘back of house’ facilities provide a welcoming and comfortable area for staff to relax in during their breaks, enabling them to return to work suitably refreshed.

This grant cost £5,610.

26 January 2024

New Motorised Couches for Retinal Diagnosis in Outpatients

Vitreoretinal diagnosis requires a patient to lie down to enable a consultant to use an ophthalmoscope to examine their retinas.  We have purchased two new couches to replace the chairs previously used for these examinations in Outpatients.

The old chairs had no wheels, making them difficult to manoeuvre.  They were also narrow and uncomfortable and had no sides which risked a patient falling off.  Sometimes this required a consultant to carry out an examination standing up, often having to adopt strenuous postures to complete an in-depth examination.  This was uncomfortable for the patient and the consultant.

The new couches are a combination of an examination chair and a bed.  They are fully motorised, comfortable for the patient and safe.  Examinations are simpler to perform and improve patient experience and outcome.  We hope staff and patients enjoy them.

This grant cost £11,888.

20 December 2023

Electrophysiology Testing

We have recently purchased new electrophysiology testing equipment.

The procedure involves attaching small electrodes to the skin at the side of the eyes, forehead and at the back of the head.  When the patient looks at a TV screen, the electrodes pick up the activity from the light sensitive cells in the retina at the back of the eye, cells in the optic nerve and then the visual areas of the brain.

Electrodiagnosis is crucial in establishing diagnosis and monitoring treatment.  It is particularly useful in patients who attend paediatrics, medical retina and uveitis clinics.

The new equipment will “future proof” the electrophysiology service for the 1 million patients that BEH cares for in and around Bristol.

It is more child-friendly, more efficient and supports more recent developments in testing.  It will also allow alignment of BEH’s testing methods with those used by Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and facilitate further development of services, potential for research projects with other centres and provision of the required quality of care within the South West.

The Friends are very proud to support this purchase to improve the service for patients and to guarantee the sustainability of this service in future.  It is a fitting and lasting tribute in memory of Paul Spry and all he did for the Bristol Eye Hospital.

This grant cost £83,750.

1 December 2023
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Thank you to all our many supporters

We strive to thank all our donors promptly – unless we are specifically asked not to thank them.

We receive many donations from people who choose to remain anonymous or who do not give us any means of contacting them to say thank you.  We regret being unable to thank such donors other than by expressing our grateful appreciation here.

There are also currently over 60 people who donate regularly – and some have done so for very many years.  Our longest regular donor made their first payment in June 1983!  The number of regular donors and the total they donate increases steadily every year.  We do not thank you regularly but please be assured that your donations are very warmly received and we are most grateful for your ongoing support.

27 September 2021, updated 17 January 2024

“PLEASE LOOK INSIDE”

Our promotional leaflet “PLEASE LOOK INSIDE” is on display in the hospital.  The leaflet briefly describes what we do, with some examples of grants we’ve made.  It also encourages people to join us, setting out different ways of donating and how to request information.

PLEASE LOOK INSIDE leaflet

The leaflet also contains a loose stand-alone form to join or donate to the Friends.

Donation Form
9 November 2022, updated 20 October 2023

From our archives

A young patient admires the inmates of the aquarium purchased by the Friends in 2011 in the then-new children’s unit in the Outpatient Department on Level 1.  The aquarium has been maintained by the Friends ever since and remains very popular with children.