Showcase event highlights sight-saving recommendations from ophthalmology report

An evening reception at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists showcased the recent publication of GIRFT’s national report on ophthalmology and its sight-saving recommendations.

You can see a short video from the event below:

The report’s three authors, consultant ophthalmologists Professor Carrie MacEwen, Ms Alison Davis and Ms Lydia Chang, led the GIRFT review into their specialty, publishing a national report in December last year.  At the event on 2 March, they presented their observations and insights from visits to 120 NHS trusts and their 22 recommendations to improve ophthalmic care – in particular cataract surgery, and the treatment of glaucoma and medical retina conditions.

The audience, which included representation from NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS programme stakeholders, ophthalmology professional bodies and charities, heard from the authors about their findings and priorities for how NHS trusts can deliver improvements and better manage growing demand in the busiest NHS outpatient specialty.

Alongside presentations from the report’s authors, attendees heard from Mr Nigel Davies, consultant ophthalmologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Mr Davies explained how reconfiguring age-related macular degeneration (AMD) services at the hospital had allowed the team to see up to 4,000 more patients a year and perform twice as many injections, while improving overall patient experience.

Mr Michael Burdon, president of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, also reflected on the report’s recommendations, discussing the importance of making the best use of the available workforce, before GIRFT Chair and NHS National Director for Clinical Improvement Professor Tim Briggs offered his closing thoughts on the achievements of the programme so far.

The GIRFT report into ophthalmology services makes a series of recommendations aimed at enabling more patients to receive sight-saving treatment, in the right place at the right time. These include performing routine cataract surgery in 30 minutes or less, offering follow-up care closer to home and improving referral processes for patients with AMD.

Read the full report here.

3 March 2020