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Look out for new 2018 BOSU study on sight loss and deterioration caused by delay in ophthalmic review or treatment

22 March 2018

Last year, RCOphth published research from a British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit (BOSU) study conducted during 2015 -16. The research found that up to 14 patients per month suffered preventable loss of vision through hospital initiated delays, with a likelihood of the true rate being between 16 and 22 cases per month.

Since publication in Eye (Vol 31, pages 771-775 2017), members of Parliament have cited the findings of the report in meetings with representatives from RCOphth and also in a Westminster debate in March 2017.

From April 2018, the study will be repeated through the yellow BOSU report card to provide contemporary information on the frequency of patients experiencing loss of vision through hospital initiated delays and how the situation has changed in three years.

This is an important study and RCOphth would like to encourage all ophthalmologists to actively identify and report patients, who meet the case definition, through the BOSU to ensure a complete dataset and provide the most powerful portrayal of the preventable loss of vision patients due to delay in care.

The new study will provide further evidence on how capacity in HES affect patient care. It will seek to identify all patients fulfilling the case definition:

  • Patients 18 years old or older with deterioration of vision in at least one eye of 3 lines of Snellen acuity or 15 letters on the ETDRS chart or deterioration in the visual field of 3 decibels due to a health service initiated delay in ophthalmic review or care or
  • Patients 18 years old or older whose vision has deteriorated to below that measured on the Snellen chart to counting fingers or worse following a health service initiated delay in ophthalmic review or care
  • Delays caused by the patient’s failure to attend (DNA) are not included

In the first study, in addition to patients with chronic eye conditions related to aging, eight children were reported.  The Paediatric Sub-committee are concerned that this is an underestimate.  Consequently, a paediatric study will be introduced in the Autumn 2018 using a modified case definition to ensure all cases are identified.

Please look out for the BOSU yellow card study: Sight loss and deterioration caused by delay in ophthalmic review or treatment