This is a glossary of terms to help explain any words you don't understand. 

Adjustable examination chairs 

Adjustable, electric couch-bed designed to offer optimal working conditions for carrying out diagnostic examinations and laser treatment. 

Advanced camera technology 

This is specialist equipment to provide colour images of the interior surface the eye. The images assist clinical staff to improve diagnosis for patients. 

Ambulatory Care 

This is a short-stay service that is provided for patients who need specialist same day review and treatment without being fully admitted to a ward. The care can include rapid access to diagnostics, senior specialist review and a management plan for your eye condition.

Carbon neutral 

Being ‘carbon neutral’ means that hospital will emit the same amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust  will offset by some other means such as energy efficiency measures and energy reduction measures. 

Consultation room

A room where a healthcare professional examines and talks to patients.

Cataract Treatment Centre

Cataracts are a common eye condition causing a number of visual disturbances including blurred vision, glare and colour distortion. 

The Cataract Treatment Centre is one of the busiest cataract units in the country delivering a large quantity of high-quality cataract surgery.

Cataract Surgery

Most cataract surgery is performed under local anaesthetic in the form of either numbing drops or an anaesthetic injection. Surgical appointments usually last approximately two hours from admission to discharge although the actual surgery time is considerably less.

Corneal, Neurological and eye lid conditions

Corneal conditions affect the cornea of the eye which is the transparent part of the eye that covers the front portion of the eye. 

Neurological conditions are caused by conditions affecting the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis. These conditions can involve malfunction of the eyelids and muscles that control eye movement, or they may affect the optic nerve itself, resulting in partial or full vision loss.

Eye lid conditions include any type of inflammation, infection, tumours and structural problems around the eye lid. Most eyelid conditions are not sight-threatening. However, they do cause many uncomfortable symptoms such as pain, burning, and foreign-body sensation. 


A senior doctor or surgeon with specialist training and expertise in a particular area of medicine such as Ophthalmology (eye) care. 

Day-case surgery 

Day-case surgery does not require an overnight hospital stay. Eye surgery patients attend the hospital for a planned surgical procedure, returning home on the same day.

Day of Surgery Admission Unit (DOSA) 

This is where patients who need operations will arrive, have their surgery and then recover in their own room before being discharged home. Children who need surgery will have a separate waiting and recovery area.

24/7 Eye Emergency Department (ED)

This is a specialist eye emergency department (ED) for people who have eye emergencies. 
The Eye Emergency Department is not a general ED and can only help with eye conditions.

Equality Impact Assessment 

A preliminary equality assessment of the various vulnerable groups and those with protected characteristics as defined by The Equality Act 2010, which explores some of the health and care challenges facing these groups. 

Eye scanning machines (OCT)

The 3D eye scan uses light waves to produce a 3D image showing a digital photograph of the surface of the eye. The machine allows your doctor or clinician to see both the back of your eye and a 3D image to look beneath the surface of the eye and locate a particular eye condition. 

Flexible 3D eye scanning machines (OCT Flex)

The 3D eye scan uses light waves to produce a 3D image showing a digital photograph of the surface of the eye. The flexible machine is for patients who cannot sit upright and allows the doctor or clinician to see both the back of your eye and a 3D image to look beneath the surface of the eye and locate a particular eye condition. 


Glaucoma is a common eye condition when the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. 

Glaucoma Unit

The Glaucoma unit investigates and treats Glaucoma.  

Guide Dog

Guide dogs are assistance dogs trained to lead blind and visually impaired people around obstacles. 


Ophthalmic (eye) imaging is the use of specialist equipment to create detailed images to support the diagnosis and treatment of a range of eye conditions.


When a person is referred to hospital for an operation or test and they need to stay overnight, it means you're being treated as an inpatient.

Macular disease

A condition relating to the macula of the eye and the degeneration of the macula area. This is part of the retina at the back of the eye. 

Nurse assessment unit

A nurse-led area of the hospital where nurses complete initial medical assessments of patients.

Optometry and orthoptic management

Optometry describes how we examine eyes and look for defects in vision. 
Orthoptics is the study, diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of eye differences such as binocular vision and squints. The orthoptist looks at how the eye works with the brain to create vision.

Ophthalmology services 

This relates to the diagnosis and treatment of all eye diseases, and vison disorders. It includes eye surgery and treatment or injuries to the eye. 

Outpatient services 

These are hospital services for patients who attend a planned hospital appointment and do not need to stay overnight. 

Paediatrics (children’s) clinics  

Specialist clinics for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting children and young people. 

Patient journey 

A patient journey represents the entire sequence of events that a patient experiences from the moment they arrive until the moment they leave hospital. 

Public engagement 

This relates to planned activity enabling people to voice their views, needs and wishes and to contribute to plans and proposals about the new Eye Hospital.


This refers to the renovation and redecoration of something, especially a building.

Retinal care 

The retina is the part of the eye that receives light and converts this into signals sent to the brain to interpret. A common condition is retinal detachment – this is when the retina comes away from the supporting tissue of the eye.

Retinal Unit 

An area of the hospital which is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of retinal diseases. 


The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is a UK charity offering information, support and advice to almost two million people in the UK with sight loss.

Satellite hub 

Sunderland Eye Infirmary operates from a range of neighbouring hospitals and community facilities across the North East region.  These hospitals and facilities are referred to as ‘satellite hubs’ and provide a range of eye care outpatient clinics.   


A sub-speciality describes an area of specialist medical care within a specialist area. For example, paediatric or children’s eye care is a subspecialty of ophthalmology (eye) care services.

Sunderland City Council’s Riverside Masterplan

This is the City Council’s proposals to transform a 32-hectare Sunderland riverside site in the heart of the city. The Riverside Sunderland Masterplan will create 1,000 homes for a community of 2,500 people, and 1 million square feet of offices and workspace for 8,000 – 10,000 quality jobs. Beautiful parks and public open spaces will create a landscaped setting, with new river crossings for walkers and cyclists.  

Visual fields testing machine to test peripheral vision

This is a specialist machine that measures the central and peripheral (side) vision and is used to diagnose eye problems. The most common visual field test uses a light spot that is repeatedly presented in different areas of your peripheral vision.


Wayfinding refers to information systems that guide people through a physical environment such as a hospital. It enhances their understanding and experience of the space. These information systems help people develop mental maps of the building and simplify their routes to get to their destination point.