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Council meeting – December 2020 – Short notes 

Please find below the short notes from the Council meeting, Friday 4 December 2020.

New College appointments

  • Professor Christopher Liu, Honorary Treasurer.
  • Dr Sunil Mamtora, Chair of OTG.
  • Mr Gwyn Williams, Regional Representative for Wales and Llywydd of the Welsh Subcommittee.

Cataract Workforce project

The Cataract Workforce Guidance Consultation describes flexible pathways that has allowed them to model demand for cataract surgery in the future.  The calculator allows people to see what the demand will be and the number of staff in theatres required to meet the demand. This will be very important when planning at strategic level to both the NHS Trusts and CCGs.

NHSBT National Corneal Graft Audit

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) proposed an outlier policy to identify and take action for surgeons whose performance falls outside of that expected, with support from expert clinicians (Chair of the Ocular Tissue Advisory Group (OTAG), and the Chair of the Audit and Clinical Research Sub-committee of OTAG). The RCOphth has looked at its policy and provided feedback.  The RCOphth has explained that it cannot routinely undertake to jointly manage identified outliers.  NHSBT is currently trying to work towards a more risk stratification so they understand the limitations.  The NHSBT document has been updated from the feedback.

Discussions will take place with NHSBT where the outlier cut off is before the RCOphth will consider support.  The College will also advise NHSBT to consult more widely with the Bowman Club and other experienced corneal graft surgeons.


The President and the Chair of Training have been very active in discussions with HEE, NHS England and the Independent Provider Health Network.  A pathway has been drafted from HEE perspective about how they can encourage the independent sector to take on trainees.  In the document it is recognised that every provider for NHS care does have a duty to provide training.  Trusts will hopefully have more say in the future with the Independent Sector in how collaboration and commissioning occurs.

The Lead Dean felt very clearly that Postgraduate Deans should all be on board and should want to facilitate this locally.

Immediate Sequential Bilateral Cataract Surgery (ISBCS)

The College had been approached by some pharma companies about the production of surgical packs that are used for ISBCS and if this is something the College would promote.

It was agreed that it would be a reasonable request for the College to ask pharma to do as much as they can to help facilitate bilateral surgery.  The role of the College is not to promote a particular way to do surgery but to ensure standards are met for patient safety.

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