We have provided evidence to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), which is responding to the UK COVID-19 Inquiry on behalf of all members. RCOphth Policy Advisor David Murray summarises the key points from our response, which recommends four actions to ensure UK ophthalmology services are resilient and able to deliver sufficient patient care and training opportunities during and after the acute stage of a future pandemic.
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.
NHS England has published guidance detailing how trusts can reduce instances of ‘did not attends’ (DNAs) for outpatient appointments. RCOphth Policy Advisor David Murray summarises what’s in the guidance, how it might affect ophthalmology services and what else is needed to tackle outpatient backlogs in ophthalmology.
Following joint task and finish groups convened by The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and NHS England, guidance has been published on cataract commissioning, the referral and post-operative pathways, and training in independent sector providers.
The NHS is asking patients to use services wisely during industrial action and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most. This includes using 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to only use 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.
RCOphth has published an analysis highlighting key trends in cataract surgery in England. This includes changes in the number of procedures performed in each region by NHS and independent sector providers.
The way that eye care services are designed and commissioned legally changed in England in July 2022.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and The College of Optometrists have collaborated on the Ophthalmic Services guidance: Designing Glaucoma Care Pathways using GLAUC-STRAT-FAST.
RCOphth President Professor Bernie Chang explains the positive action being taken by NHS England through its cataract specification, which the College has supported to develop.
Over the next financial year, NHS systems in England have been asked to reduce outpatient follow-up appointments by a quarter. This RCOphth briefing provides information on steps ophthalmology departments can take, and the need for NHS trusts to avoid a blanket approach towards implementation.