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National Ophthalmology Database Audit – The first prospective annual report

5 September 2017

The first prospective annual report of the National Ophthalmology Database (NOD) Audit was published on 13 July 2017. The report looked at 120,722 cataract operations undertaken between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 by 55 English and 1 Welsh NHS cataract surgical centres.

The report shows that cataract surgery centres are delivering high quality care to their patients. This is one of the most frequently performed surgeries in the UK with approximately 390,000 cataract operations performed in England and 16,000 performed in Wales each year, restoring sight for patients and enabling them to retain independent living.

A total of 97,908 adult patients were reported to have had an eligible cataract procedure from participating NHS trusts and Welsh Health Board during the audit period. Participating centres’ and surgeons’ outcomes were found to be within the nationally acceptable statistical range for the audit year. Some variations in outcomes were identified, suggesting possible room for improvement. The data completeness was 100% for the Posterior Capsular Rupture (PCR) outcome though less so for the Visual Acuity Loss outcome, an area for active improvement. Overall, for both outcomes the observed rates were better than the current benchmark standards for surgical practice.

The NOD Audit is an opportunity to benchmark the quality of cataract surgery provision and is intended to help draw the attention of trusts to possible elements of cataract care which may require development. The audit does not cover all centres so we are unable to comment on the quality of surgery at centres that are yet to join.

Areas for improved data collection have been highlighted such as ensuring data completeness of pre-operative and post-operative visual acuity outcome at some centres. Improvements to data collection and validation will be emphasised over the coming year so the next output of data reporting will be more robust with a view to further improvement of the quality of cataract surgery provision.

Patients, commissioners, providers and surgeons will be able to view outcomes for participating centres with results of individual consultant surgeons being made available on My NHS website ( and the NOD audit website (

The data collection for the second year, 01 September 2016 – 31 August 2017 of the prospective audit has been completed and the audit report is expected to be published in July 2018. The audit is currently collecting data for the third prospective audit period which will run from 01 September 2017 to 31 August 2018 and will include more centres in England and Wales.

The National Ophthalmology Database Audit was delivered by The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes programme (NCAPOP).

If you would like to receive a copy of the annual report or to find out if your organisation has registered to participate in the audit, please contact our project support officer, Martina Olaitan via email or visit