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External Service Reviews

External Service Reviews is a dedicated resource to support organisations and clinical teams resolve concerns about quality, efficiency and patient care in your ophthalmology service.

Our service is confidential and effective, benchmarking against best practice and national guidance and providing objective and informed advice for improvement.  The service is responsive to the needs of your clinical service and concerns.

The RCOphth service reviews are not only for serious concerns; we encourage organisations to use the College review service proactively to provide the support needed for you to deliver the highest quality and management of your ophthalmic services.

‘The objective, balanced, professional and discrete manner in which the team conducted their process was very helpful in identifying key issues and focussing the attention and further support mechanisms within the trust…. The team here are now facing the future with a renewed sense of team-spirit and cohesion, a more effective clinical environment for our patients, and a more enjoyable place to work for our staff’ Feedback from Clinical Lead.

The reviews are ophthalmologist led and include a multidisciplinary team designed to be supportive to help create improvement. They are not inspections and we are not CQC-style regulators. The primary purpose is to ensure patient safety and improve patient care through better clinical quality and efficiency. The RCOphth is in a unique position to assist organisations, utilising a team of experienced and expert ophthalmologist reviewers and ophthalmic nurses, orthoptists, optometrists, managers and lay advisers, who are knowledgeable about ophthalmic standards and the range of service models across the UK.

We can offer a range of services including remote health records and document assessments, assessments of surgical performance and team visits.  The review can be bespoke to your needs and can be conducted over one or more days to assess specific areas of practice or a more in depth whole service analysis.

What we offer

  • Centrally managed liaison and communication
  • Consistent approach, but tailored to the individual situation
  • Agreed clear terms of reference and detailed information on process
  • Experienced specialist reviewers who can provide assurance, perspective and breadth of knowledge
  • Clear timescales for report delivery
  • Quality assurance
  • Links to extensive data, information, expertise and advice from the RCOphth, including policy and specialist clinical comment
  • All-inclusive single costing covers fees, expenses and administration

Examples of why clients request an external review

  • Independent critique of a proposed model of care AND service design
  • ‘Health check’ on quality and effectiveness of service
  • Concerns around the working team (including when issues arise from a Practitioner Performance Advice Service/National Clinical Assessment Service assessment about an individual)
  • Improve links between acute and community teams
  • Develop interfaces with other service providers
  • Assess compliance with recognised standards and benchmark with other services
  • Review clinical risks to the service
  • Managing high demand and improving productivity
  • Exploring new models of care and skill mix to improve outcomes and reduce costs
  • Assess clinical practice
  • Issues arising from a CQC inspection
  • Ophthalmology department/service performance gives cause for concern
  • When the provider organisation or department feels the service would benefit from an independent review or wishes to seek independent advice to optimise performance.
  • Quality and safety concerns such as a cluster of cases of post-operative endophthalmitis, an unexpectedly high rate of postoperative complications or poor outcomes, a run of serious incidents or never events.

External Service Reviews: local support, national learning

Get in touch in confidence

Healthcare organisations (usually the Clinical Lead, Medical Director or Chief Executive), commissioners or regulators can informally discuss in confidence how our reviews team may be able to help.

Contact: Beth Barnes, Head of Professional Support beth.barnes@rcophth.ac.uk or 020 3770 5328

Documents

Process Guide External Service Reviews

External service review request form

External Review of Ophthalmology Services – Handbook for Assessors