Thankyou to our Headline Sponsors above

“Right to Choose ” announced for quicker access

Patients can use their “Right to Choose” for quicker access to NHS care in independent hospitals

A LEADING independent provider of NHS ophthalmology services has welcomed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s calls today for more patient choice to cut NHS waiting times.

Newmedica founder Darshak Shah was a representative from the independent sector in the Government’s elective recovery taskforce. Mr Shah, an ophthalmology patient, was driven by his own experiences to establish Newmedica with a leading ophthalmologist in 2007. Newmedica has been providing increasing levels of NHS services ever since.

Mr Shah said: ‘As a patient I continue to experience great care from the NHS, and as a service provider I have also seen the pressure many NHS units are under. There has always been an imbalance between patient need and available NHS capacity. The earlier eye conditions are treated, the better the chance of that treatment being successful, reducing the risk of avoidable blindness.’

Newmedica’s 28 sites work with the NHS, GPs and opticians to help treat and manage a range of advanced eye conditions taking some of the pressure off busy NHS hospitals and their waiting lists. This involves delivering 275,000 appointments a year, including 30,000 glaucoma appointments and 74,000 cataract procedures.

Rebecca Lythe Newmedica

Rebecca Lythe, Managing Director of Newmedica said that NHS ophthalmology is a surgical area that has benefited from more independent sector support, and has allowed tens of thousands of patients to receive surgery and other care in a timelier fashion than they otherwise would have done.

‘Ophthalmology is the busiest outpatient speciality in the NHS. Covid had a huge impact on the exiting backlog. Currently, 628,502 people are awaiting ophthalmology appointments in England alone – the second largest NHS backlog, equating to one in every 11 patients on an NHS waiting list. Furthermore, 27,260 of those have been waiting a year or more.

‘Soon patients will be able to find out about Newmedica and manage their care on the NHS App, which serves as a digital front door to the NHS and has over 32 million sign ups.