News & Views

Read the latest RCOphth news updates and guidance here.


Increased training places on the agenda as government responds to Parliamentary report

The government has responded to a report by the Health and Social Care Select Committee, agreeing that if medical school places are to be expanded ‘there would need to be the appropriate number of specialty training places subsequently made available for graduates’. With the upcoming Long Term Workforce Plan in England expected to announce increases to medical school places, this clarity is important in potentially paving the way for a much-needed expansion in ophthalmology specialty training places.


King’s Mill shows how PIFU can be successfully implemented in ophthalmology

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) and the ophthalmology department at King’s Mill district general hospital (DGH) collaborated on a case study detailing how King’s Mill developed its patient initiated follow up (PIFU) offering in general ophthalmology, and the impact it has had on unit capacity and patient outcomes, as part of a wider set of actions.

A photo of graphs and charts

RCOphth workforce census reveals serious NHS ophthalmology workforce shortages and growing role of independent sector providers

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) has today published the results of its 2022 workforce census, highlighting the scale of staff shortages in NHS ophthalmology services and how they will continue to worsen over the coming years without immediate action. The report also finds increasing concerns regarding the impact of independent sector providers (private companies undertaking NHS-funded services) delivering NHS ophthalmology care.


GMC's annual National Training survey open now - have your say

An annual survey into workplace medical training across the UK includes questions on doctors’ experiences of discrimination for the first time this year. From today (Tuesday 21 March 2023), doctors are being urged to share their perspectives on topics across learning, support and supervision in the General Medical Council (GMC)’s yearly National training survey.


RCOphth welcomes parliamentary inquiry emphasising need for better planning, transparency and impact assessments to bring down backlogs

RCOphth welcomes the recommendations from the Public Accounts Committee inquiry report ‘Managing NHS backlogs & waiting times in England’ as a positive step in focusing efforts to tackle backlogs, especially where the Committee has taken on board evidence from our submission. This article summarises key recommendations from the report and their relevance for ophthalmology services, while outlining what further measures the College believes are needed to bring down ophthalmology backlogs.


GMC Statement:- Tackling differential attainment and supporting progression

This week, the GMC has published the latest data on the progression of doctors in postgraduate medical education across the UK. You can access the data via the reporting tool. The GMC has also produced a summary report. Tackling barriers that exist in medical education must remain an urgent priority for organisations across the UK’s health services, including all of us with responsibilities for postgraduate training. Fair and supportive training is not only key to the quality of medical education and practice, it’s also vital to help retain healthcare professionals in the UK.


Reverse Mentoring in the RCOphth - January – July 2022

Following a successful pilot of a ‘Reverse mentoring program on lived experiences due to race’ conducted by Health Education England where trainees were paired with Deans and Heads of School in Yorkshire and Humber, we proposed a similar scheme to the executive committee of the RCOphth. The committee were immediately interested in working towards empowering ethnic minority Ophthalmic colleagues/community to overcome the perceived barriers that contribute towards differential attainment.


RCOphth continues to help shape the development of cataract pathways in Scotland

NHS Scotland is developing plans to support eye units to increase the number of cataracts performed per four-hour session. RCOphth is inputting into this work to ensure the most appropriate pathways are developed and clinicians and eye units receive the support they need. RCOphth Policy Manager Jordan Marshall explains the scope of the work and future timelines.

Press Release

RCOphth responds to launch of Elective Recovery Taskforce and drive towards greater use of independent sector capacity

Responding to the establishment of the Elective Recovery Taskforce and its focus on utilising independent sector capacity and community diagnostic centres to reduce backlogs, RCOphth stresses the need to preserve the sustainability of NHS ophthalmology services and find solutions to the long-term challenges facing the sector, particularly regarding the workforce.