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  1. ITV Report

Cataract surgery saved

Patients in cataract surgery in Kent Photo: ITV News

Peter Hoare is having cataract surgery, not in a hospital but at his local medical centre in Whitstable.

The former coast guard, who's 85, has blurred vision in his right eye.

Surgeons are carrying out an operation to correct his sight at a centre where he would usually see a GP.

Surgery lasts about 30 minutes and the patient is then free to go home.

Mr Hoare said: " It looks back to normal. It's how I remember it years ago. I can see all the colours."

A cataract develops over a long period of time when the natural lens of the eye becomes clouded with age.

Anaesthetic drops are placed into the eye and a tiny cut is made on the surface.

An ultrasound tool is used to break up the lens, which sits in tissue known as the lens capsule

The broken up pieces are removed and replaced with a folded up artificial lens which opens up once it's inserted.

Surgeons carry out cataract surgery Credit: ITV News

Cataract surgery in East Kent was thrown into doubt when a private company carrying out some of the operations for the NHS pulled out as it wasn't profitable enough.

So the Estuary View Medical Centre stepped in to plug the hole.

Dr John Ribchester said: " It presented the patients with a big problem because waiting lists were set to climb. The East Kent Hospitals Trust didn't have anymore capacity and that is why we set up the service."

So far 600 patients have had the procedure at this centre since the service started a year ago.