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Monitor report highlights UK ophthalmology units as efficient and cost effective

12 October 2015

Improving NHS productivity in elective care Monitor report out today

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) has worked in close collaboration with Monitor on this research, specifically to identify ways that cataract surgery and treatment for AMD can be more efficiently delivered in hospital eye services in the UK. The research covered a range of NHS providers, as well as investigating international centres.

There are well documented capacity issues facing hospital eye services and this report helps to identify where and how elective teams can concentrate their efforts to maximise quality and efficiency, from first consultation to follow-up after operations, which can be effectively managed, by appropriate patient care pathways and with the right training of the multi-disciplinary team to share patient care in hospitals and in the community.

Professor Caroline MacEwen, RCOphth President commented, ‘In this time of financial austerity, we believe that we need to continue to find ways of working smarter and this report identifies that there are solutions and efficiencies to be made in these high volume areas of treatment for AMD and surgery for cataract. Cataract surgery is the commonest operation carried out in NHS England. The report has highlighted that in comparison to the international units, investigated, ophthalmology in the UK is a very efficient and cost effective speciality.

RCOphth welcomes this research as it helps stimulate debate and improves opportunities for shared working by identifying where clinicians, managers and commissioners can overcome barriers by recognising pathways that have already demonstrated efficient patient journeys while maintaining excellent standards of care.  The RCOphth will continue to work on delivering improved standards and guidance for the benefit of patients to eradicate preventable blindness.

Read the Monitor Report – Elective Care October 2015.

Cataract Surgery Guidelines 2010
The aim of these guidelines is to identify good clinical practice, set standards of patient care and safety and provide a benchmark for outcomes within which high quality cataract surgery can be practised. They represent the current understanding of the guideline development group but will not necessarily all remain applicable until the next review in 2015.