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RCOphth host London Assembly launch of report into eye health and sight loss in London

8 December 2017

The RCOphth was delighted to offer our premises in Stephenson Way to the London Assembly (LA) to launch their Health Committee report ‘Eye Health – preventing sight loss in London’ on 5 December 2017.

Along with a number of other eye sector organisations, patients and patient groups, we contributed to the final report findings.  Mike Burdon and Steve Vernon met with Dr Onkar Sahota, Chair of the LA Health Committee some months previously in order to raise the capacity issues affecting ophthalmology and stressed that London could be a catalyst through the Mayor’s office to raise the importance of eye health.  We acknowledge that the report focuses on eye sight tests, but also covers issues around accessibility and awareness of eye health care, particularly in disadvantaged and minority groups.  We are confident that given support, the report will help contribute to the overall message of the issues facing our members and hospital eye services.

Dr Sahota said, “London has a ticking sight loss time bomb on its hands and not enough is being done to raise awareness of the issue. London has some of the best eye health services in the world, but the system is fragmented and plagued with a number of worrying health inequalities. We are lacking strong leadership in this area and the Mayor of London is ideally placed to drive forward the changes that are needed to transform eye health care in London. We need an eye health strategy for London and we need it urgently.”

President, Mike Burdon added, ‘We need to continually raise eye health as a priority with politicians, so that they understand the issues facing patients, not only in London, but nationally.  Our members work incredibly hard to improve the quality of life for their patients by preventing needless sight loss, and therefore contributing to a healthier nation overall.  I hope to continue working with the London Assembly and Dr Sahota on raising eye health and the increasing capacity issues we face.’

The report recommends that the Mayor highlights eye health risks for disadvantaged groups and works with the eye sector to develop and deliver an eye health plan for London.

About the London Assembly
The job of the 25 London Assembly Members is to examine the decisions and actions taken ensure promises to Londoners are delivered. The LA holds the Mayor and Mayoral advisers to account by publicly examining policies and programmes through committee meetings, plenary sessions, site visits and investigations. The Mayor should respond to Assembly motions and formal recommendations.