East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, has a new scanner for its ophthalmology department thanks to a big donation from its Friends group.

The Friends of East Surrey Hospital donated more than £50,000 to buy the optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanner.

The scanner can take a non-invasive measurement of many eye conditions such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetes-related problems.

East Surrey Hospital retinal specialist Luke Herbert said the scanner was one of the new generation of OCTs using software only available a month before its purchase.

Max Brown, ophthalmic photographer, said: “You don’t know how you lived without it. It changes the way you work.”

Following treatment for AMD, for example, the scanner can show changes in the thickness of the retina at the back of the eye signifying whether further treatment is needed or not. Patients can undergo a scan and then see the doctor immediately, greatly speeding up treatment.

Richard Burford, chairman of The Friends of East Surrey Hospital, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to provide the ophthalmology department with such advanced equipment. “But this is not just good for the hospital - it’s great for the local community.”

Last year the Friends donated £374,000 towards a new CT scanner X-ray machine for the hospital.