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Refractive Surgery Standards

Recognising patient concerns regarding laser eye surgery, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has brought together leading refractive surgeons including RCOphth Council officers, in the Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group (RSSWG). As the RCOphth advocates statutory regulation for refractive surgery as a long-term solution, the purpose of the RSSWG is to review guidance, advertising & marketing guidelines and patient information to improve standards for the provision of refractive surgery for the benefit of patients.

Refractive surgery is functional, not cosmetic and can reduce dependence on spectacles and contact lenses. However, it does share many similarities with cosmetic surgery; for most patients, refractive surgery is elective and self-funded and is predominately provided by the private healthcare sector.

The RSSWG will review and update the  current refractive surgery guidelines from The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth guidelines: Refractive Surgery Standards July 2011; Statement on Refractive Surgery Standards 2012) in line with relevant guidance from the Keogh Report1 and the GMC, addressing concerns over patient information, marketing and quality of care.

The General Medical Council has issued additional information on the scope of its guidance for doctors who offer cosmetic surgery ‘Does the guidance cover laser or refractive surgery?’

Terms of Reference Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group

Membership of the Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group

Mr Bruce Allan FRCOphth Chair
Mr James Ball FRCOphth
Dr Susan Blakeney, Clinical Adviser, College of Optometrists
Mr Michael Burdon FRCOphth, Vice President and Chair of the Scientific Committee
Mr Bernard Chang FRCOphth, Vice President and Chair of the Professional Standards Committee
Dr Kieren Darcy, Ophthalmologists in Training Group
Mr Sheraz Daya, FRCOphth
Professor John Marshall FRCOphth (Hon)
Ms Rea Mattocks, Lay Advisory Group
Mr William Newman FRCOphth, Honorary Secretary
Dr David Teenan FRCOphth

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists does not provide a medical advice service.  Patients should refer to their ophthalmologist or GP when seeking advice and information about their conditions and treatments. Please review Patient FAQs.

Reference 1 The Keogh Report

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