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RCOphth pushes for more funding in meeting with the Minister on patient safety day

12 November 2019

The Royal College pressed for much needed funding for ophthalmic services during a visit to the college by Health Minister Nadine Dorries to mark World Patient Safety Day 

Pushing for the necessity to maintain and improve funding for the National Ophthalmology Database (NOD), the Royal College stressed that this service is vital in improving patient outcomes and acts as an innovative solution in reducing surgical errors. 

The main NOD benefits include:  

  • A 38% overall reduction in PCR complications since 2010 
  • In the 2017-18 reporting period only 1.2% of operations were affected by PCR 
  • A 37% overall reduction in VA Loss since 2010 
  • Reduction in PCR complications since 2010 equates to 3,400 fewer complications annually across the NHS 
  • Cost saving from avoided PCR complications of £2 million per annum 
  • Close to 100% data completeness for PCR outcomes, currently a compulsory field in Electronic Medical Records  

A leading role in improving NHS Services 

In a follow up letter to college president Mike Burdon, the Minister praised the college for devoting the time for her and NHS Director of Patient Safety Aidan Fowler to understand how the College is reducing surgical errors through the National Ophthalmology database (NOD) audit and surgical simulation training.  

The Minister continued to praise the Colleges innovation in patient safety, with NOD having great potential to further eradicate variation in cataract surgery and patient care, adding that the clinical and economic benefits are striking 

Both the Minister and Aidan Fowler expressed confidence that the College will continue to be an industry leader in improving NHS services, adding that the opportunities arising from NOD should resonate with trusts, continuing to build on the support and investment given by NHS Improvement and NHS England.  

Continuing to champion excellence nationally and globally 

The Minister and Aidan Fowler also partook in the College’s surgical simulation training it offers to postgraduates, praising the training as an example for other healthcare professions, such as dentistry, nursing and midwifery to follow. 

The Minister ended her visit by thanking the college for being at the forefront of raising awareness for patient safety among healthcare professionals both nationally and internationally, setting the standard for ophthalmological services.  

Commenting on the praise from the Minister, College president Mike Burdon said:  

We are delighted by the comments given by the Minister and Director of Patient Safety on the College’s leading role in the sector.  

“This only serves to highlight the crucial role that NOD plays in reducing surgical errors, making much needed savings to invest in other areas and empowering our members to achieve the highest standards of clinical practice”. 

What you can do 

Contact your MP to raise a question in parliament on securing funding for national audit databases. Is your Trust contributing to NOD? Speak to your clinical lead or medical director. If you need assistance or would like more information, please contact: [email protected] 

You can find more resources on NOD here and read the College’s NOD Annual Report here