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RCOphth guidance on restoring ophthalmology services

Healthcare services are now planning how to move from full lockdown with severely restricted activities to re-opening services. However, there will be continuing and potentially variable levels of restrictions for potentially many months.  Issues related to physical distancing and infection control procedures are also likely to limit available capacity. There will need to be a phased approach and a continuing requirement to prioritise care

This page provides guidance and information on recommendations for the restoration of ophthalmology services.

Restarting and Redesigning of Cataract Pathways in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
High flow cataract surgery needs to resume now to address the backlog and provide patients with a timely service. Failure to do so will compromise the quality of life for patients. Restoration of cataract services will require a detailed review/redesign of the whole cataract pathway to ensure a safe environment for patients and staff. This also gives the opportunity to make changes that will have long-term benefits. This document provides generic guidance on the restarting of cataract services. Individual eye departments should tailor this guidance, taking into account their staffing, infrastructure, the needs of their local population as well as the expectations of local commissioners and regional NHS organisations.

RCOphth UKEGS Glaucoma management plans during recovery phase of COVID 020820
This guidance provides pragmatic advice on recommencing care for glaucoma patients based on clinical expertise from a variety of clinical settings around the UK. The scope of this document is to provide advice for the ‘recovery phase’ rather than the acute lockdown phase. We anticipate this phase will cover perhaps the next 6 months or so. Some of the points will be germane to longer term ‘post COVID-19’ services.

Guidance on restarting Medical Retina Services
This guidance has been developed by a group of medical retinal specialists as requested by the RCOphth in response to the pandemic to provide generic guidance on the resumption of medical retina services. Individual eye departments should tailor this guidance, taking into account their staffing, their infrastructure, the needs of their local population as well as the expectations of local commissioners and regional NHS organisations.

Reopening and redeveloping ophthalmology services during COVID-19 – Interim guidance 290420
This document aims to support decision making and, where possible, provide guidance on how to reopen ophthalmology services after the Covid pandemic lockdown. Its purpose is to support ophthalmic clinical leads, ophthalmic consultants, managers and directors of hospital eye services to plan the recovery phase whilst incorporating service transformation beneficial for long term sustainability of ophthalmology care.

Prioritisation of ophthalmic procedures COVID19 060520
The RCOphth has produced a prioritisation tool to allow services to plan re-opening of procedure and surgical care, which takes into account both the safe and appropriate timing and the risk of harm to patients if this timing cannot be adhered to. Although all patients will need assessment for their individual situation, we hope this will be helpful in planning care and to support discussions with non-ophthalmic, theatre staff and managers in ensuring safe provision of ophthalmic procedures during the recovery phase. A simplified version of this tool will be available in an all specialty resource which will be published shortly by NHS England and we will release a version for outpatient care in the near future.

Prioritisation of ophthalmic outpatient appointments
Guidance to aid ophthalmic services in the prioritisation of their outpatient capacity of their departments.

RCOphth UKISCRS COVID cataract surgery restoring services 070520
This document provides guidance to assist re-opening of cataract services following the COVID lockdown.

Non-contact tonometry and IOL COVID19
Updated guidance in conjunction with the College of Optometrists on the use of non-contact tonometry to measure intra-ocular
pressure during COVID-19.

Principles for the restarting of elective care services PPE and Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGP) principles for ophthalmology
A set of PPE and AGP principles for restarting elective care services.