Unlike Nelson, Dave sees ships

A Royal Navy veteran is looking back out to sea thanks to a short waiting list and double eye surgery at Practice Plus Group Surgical Centre, St Mary’s Portsmouth (formally St Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre).

Dave Bee, 78, who served 25 years in signals on ships all over the world, is also looking forward to getting back on the tennis court with his wife Diane.

He said: “My eyesight had deteriorated over the years, but I noticed that my glasses prescriptions were getting stronger and stronger and the gaps between new pairs were getting shorter.

“My optician, in Fareham, identified cataracts and told me that my glasses were the last I could have that would allow me to drive. I spoke to my GP who recommended St Mary’s Treatment Centre for service and short waiting times and my optician agreed and referred me. I was stunned when I received a phone call the next day. The appointments team were great and worked around my family commitments to organise my appointments.”

Surgeons operated on his left eye and once he fully recuperated they tackled the second eye, removing the cataracts and inserting artificial lenses.

Mr Bee said: “The whole experience was wonderful: from start to finish I was treated with courtesy and politeness. Everyone was well organised, professional and kind – and that was reassuring.”

Mr Bee was also delighted with the results. “The change was incredible. I now only need reading glasses. This means I can drive safely, which is important as we love spending time with our grandchildren.

“I spend a lot of time watching ships in the Solent and I was having to use binoculars to see anything; now I can see vessels four miles out with no difficulty. Colours are also brighter and I can see the grain on wood again.

“Cataracts take the detail away from your vision so slowly that you don’t realise what you have been missing. Thanks to the team at the treatment centre the colours and detail are back, and I am looking forward to getting back on the tennis court and getting a clear view of the ball.”

Penny Daniels, the centre’s hospital director, said: “One of the most common symptoms is glasses not working shortly after prescription, or an increase in the need to change prescriptions, which is why many referrals come from community opticians.

“Cataract surgery has a profound effect on people’s lives. I’m delighted Mr Bee is enjoying his hobbies again and that he was impressed with the centre and our team.”