The influential thinktank Reform has published a report highlighting the scale of follow-up backlogs in England, with ophthalmology the specialty with the most patients waiting for follow-up appointments. RCOphth Policy Manager Jordan Marshall summarises the key points from the report and what needs to happen next.
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 has written to Health Minister Will Quince MP to express our support for the extension of independent prescribing responsibilities to orthoptists. The British and Irish Orthoptic Society has previously advocated for these responsibilities, including in a letter to the Secretary of State.
The Government’s Elective Recovery Taskforce has announced several actions aimed at increasing capacity in England in its implementation plan, especially through expanded independent sector involvement in the delivery of NHS services. While the measures, analysed in this article, represent an important acknowledgement of the need to urgently expand capacity and aspects of the plan can help ophthalmology if implemented effectively, to make a real difference policymakers must prioritise properly investing in NHS services and its workforce and infrastructure.
The Department of Health and Social Care has today published its Elective recovery taskforce implementation plan. The plan covers England and focuses on ‘increasing the use of independent sector capacity across a broader range of specialties, helping to get NHS waiting times down and ensuring every patient can realise their right to choose where they receive their NHS care’.
As the demand of patient care and backlogs continue to put pressure on trusts and eye care units, a consequence is the difficulty in medical royal colleges being able to maintain high standards and resources to assess, examine, educate and train future generations of ophthalmologists and eye care professionals to deliver comprehensive care to patients safely and in a timely way. These responsibilities are incorporated into the charter of royal colleges.
What was the experience of ophthalmologists in training in 2023, and how does this compare to previous years? Jordan Marshall, RCOphth Policy Manager and Sam Simpson, specialty trainee and Ophthalmologists in Training Group (OTG) representative, summarise the key findings from the GMC’s 2023 National Training Survey.
NHS England has published a Long Term Workforce Plan which sets out actions over the next 15 years aimed at tackling the NHS workforce crisis in England. RCOphth Policy Manager Jordan Marshall assesses the implications for ophthalmology and the unanswered questions.
In November 2022, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists Paediatric Sub-committee held a series of focus groups to explore the challenges facing paediatric eye care and identify possible solutions to secure the future of the workforce. Following the conclusion of these focus groups, the RCOphth has produced ‘Improving the visibility of paediatric ophthalmology: A workforce report‘ detailing key findings
GMC’s annual report into workplace experiences has identified worrying trends around higher workloads, stress related absence and risk of burnout. What are the key findings, what solutions are proposed and how does this tally with what is happening in ophthalmology?