Fragmented eye care needs addressing
National partnership calls for national strategy to tackle delays and fragmented care for eye patients
• Many patients could be losing their vision due to delays in NHS diagnosis and follow-up care after ,,
• The Eyes Have It partnership is calling on the newly-appointed National Clinical Director for Eye Care to implement a national strategy.
• As part of a drive to improve the lives of those with eye conditions, the partnership is calling on people working in eye health to pledge support by visiting https://eyeshaveit.co.uk/doc/pledge.
• The Eyes Have It is a partnership made up of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the Macular Society, Fight for Sight, the Association of Optometrists and Roche Products Ltd.
A national partnership of eye care organisations is calling for more joined up care through a national eye care strategy to address the many patients in England who could lose their sight due to delays in diagnosis and follow-up care after referral.1,2,3
Despite some progress in reducing NHS backlogs in ophthalmology, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is evidence to suggest that many patients could be losing their vision due to these ongoing delays in diagnosis and follow-up care.1,2,3
Now, The Eyes Have It partnership – a leading partnership of organisations that campaigns to improve the lives of patients with eye conditions – is calling on the newly appointed National Clinical Director (NCD) for Eye Care, Louisa Wickham, to implement a national strategy to address the issues.
Ms Wickham, Medical Director of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, took up her position as NCD, a newly created role, earlier this month.
Speaking on behalf of The Eyes Have It partnership, Stephen Scowcroft, Macular Society Director of Services said: “We believe a clinically-led national eye care strategy that prioritises maximising capacity in NHS eye care services is needed to better support people experiencing sight loss. Taking action to maximise capacity in eye care services is vital for ensuring patients are seen in the right place and at the right time, whilst also supporting the ophthalmology and optometry workforce.
The appointment of the new National Clinical Director is a really positive step forward, that gives the eye care community a new opportunity to better support patients and provide them with the practical and emotional support they need.”
On 7 June 2022, the Eyes Have It partnership convened a roundtable discussion with leading clinicians, policymakers, and patient organisations. As well as the issues around patient support after referral, participants also discussed inconsistent commissioning processes from primary to secondary care, workforce issues where there is a mismatch between supply and demand, a lack of national, standardised data preventing effective national planning and a deficiency in the support and funding for clinical eye research.
The Eyes Have It partnership is calling for support from all stakeholders in eye care as part of its drive to improve the lives of people with sight loss. To this end, it has launched a pledge wall.
To pledge your support please click here: https://eyeshaveit.co.uk/doc/pledge.