On Thursday (9 January), the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch published its latest national investigation report looking into the monitoring of patients with glaucoma. The report showed that the lack of timely follow-up for glaucoma patients is a recognised national issue across the NHS. Research also suggested that around 22 patients a month suffer severe or permanent sight loss as a result of the delays.
Helen Lee, RNIB Policy and Campaigns Manager, said:
“This report has brought vital attention to a serious and dangerous lack of specialist staff and space in NHS ophthalmology services across the country. We know that thousands of patients in England are experiencing delays in time-critical eye care appointments, which is leading to irreversible sight loss for some. But, suggestions on how to tackle the problem have been continually ignored.
“Without immediate action, the situation will only continue to deteriorate as the demand for appointments increases. RNIB urges full and immediate implementation of the recommendations set out in this report to improve the capacity, efficiency and effectiveness of ophthalmology services.”