Ophthalmic support staff vital to the success of multidisciplinary team working

  • 15 May 2019
  • RCOphth

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists welcomes the professional development and training of all staff involved with the ophthalmologist led team in delivering high quality care to patients.

Eye disease is predicted to increase by 40% over the next 20 years continuing to create unprecedented demand on the hospital eye service which already copes with nine million outpatient appointments per year.

Ophthalmic technicians, ophthalmic healthcare science assistants, associates and practitioners and other support staff are important members of the multidisciplinary ophthalmic team. They should be appropriately trained to a consistent standard that is nationally recognised. More information on roles can be found at NHS Health Careers website.

The Association of Health Professions in Ophthalmology (AHPO) provides education and training for staff working at the level of a Healthcare Science Associate.

Ophthalmic healthcare science practitioners do not have statutory registration but can join an accredited voluntary register held by the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS). More information about these roles can be found on the National School of Healthcare Science website.

The Ocular Imaging Association is an inclusive organisation welcoming all with an interest in ophthalmic imaging. Formed in 1985, the OIA’s mission is to provide continuing professional development for anyone engaged in ophthalmic imaging.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists calls for more recognition and opportunities to promote and recruit into these professions by NHS and other national education and training bodies in the UK.

Editor’s notes

  • The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has been funded by Health Education England (HEE) to develop the Ophthalmology Common Clinical Competency Framework (OCCCF). Working with HEE, the College of Optometrists, Royal College of Nursing and the British & Irish Orthoptists Society, the RCOphth will produce a national curriculum guidance and a series of workplace based assessments.
  • HEE hosts information about NHS careers on their website.