News & Views

Read the latest RCOphth news updates and guidance here.

An elderly patient with her carer walking down a hospital corridor.

RCOphth responds to government’s elective recovery taskforce plan

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’.


SAS Doctors contribute to the work of medical royal colleges to maintain standards of patient care and development of future generations of eye doctors

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.


GMC’s 2023 annual training survey shows progression improving for ophthalmologists in training, alongside concerns over burnout and access to independent sector

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.


Work to identify capacity challenges and explore solutions in paediatric ophthalmology enters next stage

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


RCOphth Congress 2023 sessions explore workforce, capacity and independent sector challenges

RCOphth held two sessions at Annual Congress 2023 in Birmingham examining the key policy priorities of ophthalmology. The first session explored the challenges and potential solutions to the ophthalmology workforce crisis - informed by an expert panel - while the second session saw the National Clinical Director for Eye Care Louisa Wickham discuss national coordination of eye care services. Both events facilitated a highly engaging discussion between panellists and the RCOphth member audience who were invited to pose questions, input with their experience and suggest solutions. These well-attended panel sessions were received by members as an opportunity for informative debate of the issues most pertinent to ophthalmology services.


RCOphth priorities reflected in Parliamentary debate on the merits of a national eye health strategy

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. 


RCOphth webinar examines PIFU’s role in ophthalmology

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists last week hosted a webinar with King’s Mill Hospital Ophthalmology Department and NHS England’s Outpatient Recovery and Transformation team to explore how ophthalmology patient-initiated follow-up (PIFU) can be successfully implemented. The session, held following the publication of the King’s Mill PIFU case study and attended by almost 100 people from a range of professions, saw an expert panel deliver presentations on the role PIFU can play in increasing capacity as part of a wider set of actions, followed by an audience Q&A.


RCOphth President delivers presentation in Parliament highlighting workforce shortages and need for better support for ophthalmology

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.