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NHS eye health summit tackles hospital demand – 7 June, London

1 June 2016

CCGs are being urged to attend the first ever national eye health summit being held in London on 7 June.

The conference, ‘Immediate solutions to address demand and capacity pressures in the Hospital Eye Service’ will showcase innovative and collaborative service models from around the country.

The event exclusively aimed at commissioners brings together leading eye specialists and partners responsible for delivering commissioning guidelines, to share pathways and best models of practice that deliver optimum cost-effective care for eye patients both in the community and in hospital eye services.  Commissioners will hear how colleagues have overcome the challenges facing commissioners from an aging population and the increase in long-term review patients due to new available treatments.

David Geddes, National Head of Primary Care Commissioning, NHS England who will be speaking at the conference said, ‘With an aging population, demand for hospital eye services is increasing year on year. Primary Care is central to the development and transformation of health services in England. NHS England is organising this event, in partnership with our professional colleagues, to support CCGs and leads for the sustainability and transformation plan area to showcase a number of innovative solutions in eye care services and to explore how  primary care can fulfil its potential to improve the patient pathway.’

The programme will feature CCG speakers from the Better Care Together Vanguard in South Cumbria and North Lancashire, and the East Lancashire Integrated Eyecare Service, led by East Lancashire Hospitals Trust. Sharing their knowledge on how to commission effective patient care through cost and resource efficiencies.

Eye health leaders agree the current system needs a radical reform and redesign. There are a number of collaborative solutions being suggested – expand services by transferring more routine and step-down care into high-street optical practices and expanding the role of the multi-disciplined team of eye care professionals.

CCGs will go away equipped with comprehensive practical knowledge to overcome capacity and demand issues in their regions. The event is being hosted by NHS England in partnership with The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning, the Local Optical Committee Support Unit, the College of Optometrists and Moorfields Eye Hospital.

The event is at the Abbey Centre, London on 7 June.


Main speakers:

Announcing the programme for the event, President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Professor Carrie MacEwen, said, ‘With an increase of up to 30% in eye clinic attendances over the last five years, we can no longer ignore the pressure building up in ophthalmic services which risks patients losing vision. There is an urgent need to explore new ways of working to meet demand and encouraging commissioners and Trusts to learn from others who are leading the way.’

Managing Director of the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU), Katrina Venerus explains that community optometrists can add valuable capacity to redesigned services.

‘There are over 10,000 optometrists in high streets across England that can be utilised to monitor low-risk patients in the community. Local studies show that on average, this could take up to one third of patients at risk off waiting lists and allow ophthalmologists to concentrate on the most urgent cases and follow-up appointments, easing bottlenecks and backlogs.’

David Parkins, Chair of the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning comments ‘CCGs need to work together to commission services at greater scale, with better integration between the various eye health services. There also a need to collect data to evidence that we have been successful in reducing delayed reviews and to drive improvement.’