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.
It’s definitely going to be a busy first few months, if not for the next three years. I want to assure you of my commitment to the role and encourage you to contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions, to share solutions that positively impact patient care or wish to feedback on the work of the College.
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.
Following the independent Pyott Report which reviewed eye care services in Wales, important progress on significant investment in Welsh eye care infrastructure, including full regionalisation of services, is being made. We update on this work, which includes £150,000 funding from the Welsh Government to develop a National Clinical Strategy for Ophthalmology. This article also examines a new plan from NHS Wales to develop the health workforce and what it will mean for ophthalmology services.
The 2023 Zakarian Awards are now open for submissions. Three awards will be offered to ophthalmologists who are members of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, to gain experience and undertake ophthalmic and vision research. The RCOphth Zakarian Awards are designed to support three categories of researchers.
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.
Influential thinktank The Health Foundation has published a report which examines trends relating to independent sector provision of NHS ophthalmology services in England. RCOphth Policy Manager Jordan Marshall summarises the key findings, and how they link to existing work the College has led.
Managing children with nystagmus can be complex and nuanced for clinicians in any centre drawing questions such as which tests are needed? Or how urgent are they? From urgent MRI scans to specialist eye-tracking referrals, electrodiagnostic testing and genetics, children and their families often report vastly different experiences.
Ali Rivett joins the RCOphth from the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR), where he oversaw a period of sustained improvement and growth, helping to support an increasingly diverse, multidisciplinary membership across the UK and overseas.
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.