President Ben Burton represented College members at an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Eye Health and Visual Impairment at Westminster on 15 November.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), in partnership with NHS England, has published a new set of ‘evidence based interventions (EBI)’ including measures for ophthalmology. The guidance aims to increase ophthalmic capacity in England by improving efficiency in the referral pathways for diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts into hospital eye services. Implementing these changes will require clinicians and commissioners to work closely together, ensuring effective pathways are developed that are properly resourced.
The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV has issued a clinical alert addressing syphilis. The President of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV has contacted the RCOphth and asked us to share this information with our members
Last week Members of Parliament debated the potential merits of a national eye health strategy at Westminster Hall. The debate, tabled by Marsha de Cordova MP, saw parliamentarians from across the political spectrum cite recent RCOphth statistics and explore several policy priorities advocated by the College. They discussed how an eye care strategy, supported by investment and resourcing, could help facilitate solutions to the ophthalmology capacity challenge.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists President, Professor Bernie Chang, joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Eye Health and Visual Impairment to deliver a presentation on the findings of the College’s 2022 workforce census. Joining Parliamentarians and sector leaders, Professor Chang detailed the extent of the workforce shortages in ophthalmology and the event also saw presentations from the College of Optometrists, the Association of Optometrists, and Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital about workforce challenges and solutions in their areas.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists President, Professor Bernie Chang, joined a panel of senior leaders from across the eye care sector at the launch of the Specsavers State of the UK’s Eye Health 2022 report. Professor Chang was joined by Dr Peter Hampson, Clinical Director, Association of Optometrists, Ross Campbell, Ophthalmic Director of RCO Ltd, Fiona Sandford, Chief Executive of Visionary and was chaired by Dr Michael Mosley, to discuss how to draw on industry expertise to improve patient outcomes.
As part of the College’s campaign to tackle current and future issues affecting ophthalmology services, the policy team is pleased to announce that we are jointly hosting a Parliamentary event to influence policymakers and drive eye care up the political agenda – and we’d love to get you involved.
In 2019/20, there were 9 million outpatient attendances for all five vision treatment specialties1. As the leading outpatient speciality in the NHS, the appointment of Louisa Wickham to the post of National Clinical Director (NCD) for Eye Care is long overdue and welcomed.
In a recent interview with BBC Wales, Gwyn Williams warned that a ‘tide of avoidable blindness’ could sweep Wales if eye care services are not reformed. He went on to say that waits for key treatments were ‘the biggest they've ever been’.
Nearly 600,000 people were waiting for ophthalmology treatments in January 2022, the largest waiting list of all NHS specialities, and around 10 per cent of all those on the referral-to-treatment pathway.