The Way Forward

  • 09 Jan 2017

The increasing demand for hospital eye services (HES) is not being met and continues to grow – currently seeing nearly 10% of all outpatient appointments and performing 6% of the surgery in the UK.

The Way Forward was commissioned by The Royal College of Ophthalmologists to identify current methods of working and schemes devised by ophthalmology departments in the UK to help meet the increasing demand in ophthalmic services. The information aims to offer a helpful resource for ophthalmologists who are seeking to develop their services to meet capacity needs.

The findings are based on more than 200 structured interviews with the ophthalmology clinical leads in all departments, in the four home nations, to identify the real life solutions being used to address the increasing demand.

The research covers each of the particularly high-volume areas in ophthalmic care with both a short summary document and a more detailed report.

The Way Forward Executive Summary

AMD full report 

AMD Summary

Glaucoma full report

Glaucoma summary

Cataract full report

Cataract summary

Emergency Eye Care report

Emergency Eye Care summary

The Way Forward was commissioned in 2016 and is a useful resource that provides projected demand on the main eye diseases and includes:

  • NHS Funded ophthalmic care
  • The four countries of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • Greatest focus on the most common eye conditions (cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy)

The project excludes:

  • Care which is not free at the point of delivery i.e. privately funded ophthalmic care
  • A detailed analysis of Specialised Commissioning
  • The detailed mapping of referral pathways

A presentation is available from John Buchan, author of The Way Forward resources.

Literature reviews and data collection included semi-structured interviews with clinical service leads, followed by an interim report.