The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) recently took the opportunity to provide a statement as part of The Royal College of Physicians response to the Welsh Assembly (Senedd) Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the management of follow up outpatients across Wales.
It is important that the committee recognises the very real risk of loss of sight if follow up patients in the hospital eye service are not seen as indicated by the consultant in a time-appropriate manner. In 2017 the RCOphth British Ophthalmology Surveillance Unit found up to 22 patients per month losing sight as a result of hospital initiated delays to follow up appointments across the UK1.
The recent RCP report – Outpatients: the future – adding value through sustainability – found that across the NHS the traditional model of outpatient care is no longer fit for purpose, confirming the findings of a previous 2018 Welsh-specific report from the Wales Audit Office.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists welcomes the Senedd Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the management of outpatients, especially the focus placed on ophthalmology. The Wales National Eye Health Steering Board continues to engage with the Senned to streamline and improve the management of ophthalmic patients across Wales.
Raghu Ram, Regional Representative for Wales, said “Wales continues to be a leading example of ophthalmic service planning, putting in place measures to streamline the management of ophthalmic outpatients. Over the last year, the Planned Care Programme, NHS Wales and RNIB have worked together to introduce a new outcome focused measure for all eye care patients (both new and follow-up) based on their clinical need and risk of adverse outcome. The increased introduction and use of electronic patient records is also part of the Digital Transformation of Eye Services in Wales. These two measures will have a transformational impact on the service delivery in Wales.”
- Royal College of Ophthalmologists. BOSU report shows patients losing sight to follow-up appointment delays.