Testimonials for Cataract surgery during COVID.



It was lovely to talk to you yesterday. Thank you for the advice, support and concern.

I was very nervous before my cataract operation. I had been very impressed with you at the pre-op assessment. You were wonderfully reassuring and quite obviously very good at what you do (I had read up on you on the internet before choosing you). You were friendly and joked a lot as well as being very clear and informative about my eye condition and the operation. It felt as though I had known you for years. You are very good at putting people at their ease. It was all set to go ahead but then came the coronavirus lockdown and this meant a delay in having the op. I wanted it over and done with but, as I said, I was nervous. I needn’t have been. From the moment I arrived at the Nuffield, I was taken care of and reassured. You did the operation and suddenly it was all over. There was no pain and it seemed quick and easy – much easier than going to the dentist. I was impressed with you all over again. Firstly, you put in the drops yourself before the operation rather than wait for the nurse to do it. That is really good leadership. During the operation, it was obvious from the conversation between you and your team that you had an excellent working relationship with them, and you talked to me too, cracking jokes and keeping the atmosphere light and telling me how you got into eye surgery. It felt very humbling to hear of the work you do with babies and young children and you are so modest about it all. During the operation, you told me what was happening at each step and before I knew it, it was over. I couldn’t believe how easy it had been. Nothing to be nervous about at all. After three days, you rang me for a follow-up, to check how things were. I thought this was impressive too. I was able to ask the questions I had and you made me feel very reassured. So, thank you, Mr Shafiq. My vision is now much improved and I won’t need glasses for driving. I have been singing your praises to anyone who will listen and I would recommend you without hesitation to anyone needing eye surgery. All the very best for the future.








JULY 2020


To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to my cataract surgery. At the end of March 2020, I was scheduled to have a toric lens implant to restore clear vision and also correct astigmatism in addition to my shortsightedness. That date was cancelled due to pandemic restrictions, so I had several months in which to decide how I would feel when I was given an alternative date. Long before the phone call I had decided that, if the Nuffield Hospital reopened for cataract surgery then I would have confidence in their procedures (and I had not been out of my house for four months except for daily, remote walks, so this was quite a decision!).

I need have had no concerns. Firstly, the COVID19 safety procedures in place in the hospital were stringent, with dedicated staff in reception to ensure mask, distancing and temperature-checking requirements were all met. All of this was repeated on the day ward, where individual solid walled bays maintain privacy and distance. Secondly and very importantly, I knew that Mr Shafiq was professionally experienced, even with the less commonly used toric lenses, but his calm demeanour was entirely reassuring. Despite being last on his surgical list there was no sense of urgency in theatre, where the atmosphere was relaxed, professional and efficient all at the same time. It is a little weird seeing the necessary lights above you, but the highly skilled surgery was completed in a very short time, with no pain whatsoever. Also reassuringly, the other side of my face was loosely covered in such a way that I ‘breathed my own air’ throughout. Afterwards, at home, the slight soreness didn’t require any analgesia and had gone within 24 hours.

I had read that it can take up to a few weeks for the sight in the new lens to settle to its optimum level. I can only write from personal experience, but when I removed the eye shield the following morning I was immediately delighted with the clarity of sight. Now, three days post op, I remain thrilled with the result. I have recommended Mr Shafiq to friends and family and my sister, who lives on the south coast of England, has now resolved that if she needs cataract surgery she will travel to Newcastle and will only be seen by Mr Shafiq.


1) on the day of surgery bring something to while away any time you may have to wait. The theatre is thoroughly cleaned between patients, and there can be consequential unexpected delays. If, like me, you have to wait, then some reading material if sight allows, or otherwise headphones for music would be useful.
2) be confident in Mr Shafiq’s expertise, and relax knowing that you are in excellent hands. I recommend him without reservation.

Helen S
12th July 2020