RCOphth President, Mike Burdon, responded to the measures outlined in the spring statement, stating:
“RCOphth has long listened to and expressed concerns on behalf of its members regarding the annual allowance threshold for pensions and we welcome the Chancellor’s decision to raise them.
“Our General Election Manifesto highlighted that nearly a quarter of ophthalmologists are approaching retirement, raising the two tapered annual allowance thresholds is a vital lifeline as many doctors were considering retiring early or reducing their hours, which would have further impacted capacity issues within the specialty.
“Whilst we also welcome larger investment in the workforce, total spending as outlined in the NHS Funding Bill still falls below the 4% annual budget increase needed to improve services.
“As highlighted in our 2018 workforce census, we have 434 vacant consultant ophthalmic posts, RCOphth will continue to push the Government to recognise the importance of properly staffing the biggest outpatient specialty in the NHS, we hope the Government considers the importance of this in the spending review and upcoming autumn budget.”