DORSET County Hospital’s eye clinic has been shortlisted for a national award after being labelled as “exceptional” by its patients.

The clinic’s macular service is in the running for ‘Clinical service of the year’ as part of eye charity The Mascular Society’s annual excellence awards.

The short listing for the Dorchester-based service states that the clinic has been recognised for its “exceptionally good practice in the care of people with macular degeneration.”

Nearly 5,000 people in Dorset are believed to suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects the central vision and is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK.

Dr Lucia Vatamaniuc, Ophthalmology Specialty Doctor at the clinic, said: “It is our honour and privilege to accept the nomination for the AMD Service award.

“We sincerely thank the Macular Society for initiating the award. It is certainly a very proud and humbling experience for us and the team members of the Eye Department.”

‘Clinical service of the year’ is an award for medical staff, teams or services which provide diagnosis or treatment for macular disease, and which demonstrate good practice in the care of people with central vision loss.

Dr Dimitrios Carayannopoulos, Ophthalmology Specialty Doctor at the clinic, added: “We especially want to thank our consultants, who always help and guide us with their knowledge, experience and expertise, and keep us motivated to provide optimum care to our patients.

“We also extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the team members in the Eye Department. Without their help and support, this honour would not have been possible.”

Katharine Webb from Weymouth is one of the patients who nominated the team for the award.

She said: “Every clinic and ward team member has been both professional and caring. From the consultants to the nurses, the treatment, care and advice they have given me has been exceptional.

“The team made me feel relaxed and well informed about the treatment. I have the very highest praise for all of the staff, they take care of me as person as well as a patient.”

The Macular Society is the national charity for anyone affected by central vision loss. The charity provides free information and support to improve lives today and we fund research so that one day we can overcome macular disease.

Tony Rucinski, Chief Executive of the Macular Society, said: “The Macular Service team at Dorset County Hospital do an incredible job and we are delighted that they have been recognised for their excellent work.

“It’s amazing to hear how people have made such a difference to the lives of others."

The awards ceremony will be held in London on September 27.