Research is everyone’s business in the NHS as it underpins high-quality ophthalmic healthcare to prevent vision impairment, improve diagnose and efficiently treat eye conditions.

Ophthalmic Research By All

Research is vital in providing the evidence needed to transform and innovate services and improve outcomes for health care; it ensures that clinicians and policymakers can make informed decisions about how eye care is delivered.  Patients and the public can be assured that the care they receive is based on ground-breaking research.

The importance of research

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), a major NHS regulator, has incorporated clinical research into its inspection framework (section W8 of the Well Led Framework). This framework, along with the Health and Social Care Act 2012, formally recognises clinical research activity as a vital part of high-quality patient care within the NHS.

The Department of Health Social Care has set out its vision in ‘Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery: 2021-2022 Implementation Plan’ that participation in research will be assessed as part of professional revalidation.

Research in ophthalmology and visual sciences improves the health, well-being and wealth of people and societies by providing the knowledge and understanding that is required to inform. Key research areas include:

  • Prevention of eye/vision conditions
  • Diagnosis and treatment of eye/vision conditions
  • Organisation and delivery of health and social care services for people with eye/vision conditions
  • Organisation and delivery of services to minimise the broader impact of eye/vision conditions and support people with visual disability
  • Promotion of visual health, vision-related quality of life and well being.


The importance of research for all ophthalmologists

Resources that provide advice and guidance in getting started in research, developing innovation and the importance of academic ophthalmology.

Ophthalmic Research by All

A major culture change is underway in the NHS, initiated by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and supported by all our devolved nations , that now expects that all clinicians to be involved in research.

Innovating in Ophthalmology

Healthcare innovation is the creation of a novel idea, product, service or care pathway that improves patient care. Successful implementation and adoption require the innovation not only to be centered on the patient’s needs, but also to meet the needs of healthcare staff, organisations and regulatory and professional bodies.

Out of Programme FAQs

Everything you wanted to know about out of programme activity and how it can benefit you and patients.

Advancing Academic Ophthalmology

Research is integral to the mission of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) to deliver the highest achievable quality of eye care for patients and is enshrined in five (of six) obligations in its Charter. Academic ophthalmology - comprising research, translation/knowledge transfer and training of scientists - as a sub-specialty is therefore business and mission critical for RCOphth.

SAS Doctors

SAS ophthalmologists, including Associate Specialists, Staff Grades, Specialty Doctors, Clinical Assistants and non-training Trust Grades, make an enormous contribution to delivery of care in the NHS.

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Research in the news

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists is delighted to announce the continuation of the Ulverscroft David Owen Awards..

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The British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit

Support research, prevention and epidemiological assessment of ophthalmic disorders across the UK.

Get involved in BOSU
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Eye Journal

Eye brings you the latest ophthalmology research. We provide high quality articles on the latest global clinical and laboratory based research.

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