The South Molton Community Hospital has broken ground on the development of its new £1.25m Eye Hub facility.

The former renal unit will be rebuilt to make the eye hub to increase capacity in Northern Devon for ophthalmology services, including diagnostic services, treatments and management of long-term eye conditions.

Funded by the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, with £500,000 donated from South Molton Community Hospital League of Friend, it is expected to provide 50 appointments per session.

Karen Donaldson, divisional director of surgical, Northern Services at the Royal Devon, said: ‘We are delighted to see the start of work on this brilliant new facility. It will enable us to reduce waiting times that have lengthened with the pandemic, and so lower the risk of people’s eye conditions getting worse, but it will also allow us to deliver the very latest eye care here in North Devon.’