After months of fundraising for the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, Specsavers stores in Western Australia have donated $30,000 to the Princess Margaret Hospital’s (PMH) Ophthalmology Department, which will be put towards the purchase of an innovative piece of diagnostic equipment.

Currently, there is no equipment available at PMH that allows for anterior eye diagnosis. As such, if an anterior scan is required, patients are referred privately to the Lions Eye Institute, which can leave families significantly out of pocket.

Thanks to the WA stores’ donation, PMH can now afford a Pentacam, the latest in anterior eye diagnostic technology, which is said to enable earlier and more thorough diagnosis of serious eye conditions compared with other similar equipment.

As the PMH Ophthalmology Department is the only tertiary provider of paediatric eye services in WA, caring for children ranging from premature babies up to adolescents, the Pentacam is an essential piece of equipment for the department to enable it to provide the level of care required to patients. The technology will facilitate non-invasive and quick imaging, which is especially beneficial when dealing with young patients.

The Pentacam is also expected to provide major benefits to doctors and ophthalmic surgeons at the hospital. It will provide better information for teaching and presenting to trainees, and full examination information will be available in one consultation on-site, meaning there will be less reliance on off-site specialists.

The announcement of the Pentacam donation comes after Specsavers stores in WA voted to support the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation in a special ‘Specsavers Community Program Charity Takeover’ initiative earlier in the year. All 45 Specsavers stores in WA raised money for the PMH Ophthalmology Department by donating a portion of every glasses sale to the cause, as well as through a variety of other initiatives, including a charity ball in July 2017. Representatives from all stores in the state attended the ball and over $12,000 was raised through an auction and raffle.

Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Denys Pearce said the Foundation was grateful to have had the support of Specsavers WA stores. “The donation of $30,000 is a fantastic result and will be put towards the purchase of a new Pentacam,” he said. “This means children who require the services of the Ophthalmology Department will have access to the latest equipment, which they deserve.”

The Specsavers Community Program sees all Specsavers stores raising funds for not just selected local charities chosen by the stores, but also The Fred Hollows Foundation. Customers are provided with a token representing a donation for each pair of glasses purchased at Specsavers. Customers can then use the token to select which charity they would like to support and a subsequent donation is made by the store out of the store partners’ own pockets.