Improving NHS eye care capacity in England

Helping to stop people losing sight

Patient looking up while eye drops are administered

The problem

The National Health Service (NHS) eye care system in England is currently failing patients. Demand for ophthalmology has increased significantly in recent years, due to our ageing population and the availability of new treatments. Service provision is not keeping pace with demand, meaning that hospitals are delaying and cancelling appointments, resulting in people losing sight.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eye Health and Visual Impairment (a cross-party group of MPs and Peers) held an England-only inquiry during 2017 into the issue of capacity problems in NHS eye care services in England and released its findings in a report launched on 6 June 2018.

Read the report

The report includes 16 recommendations; from providing staff with more extensive training to setting national targets. RNIB will focus on two of the recommendations in the coming months:

  1. For the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to include eye health specifically within the NHS England mandate to ensure it's accorded a higher priority.
  2. For NHS England to review and report publicly on how eye care capacity issues are addressed in Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) and how these relate to current and predicted need.

It is important that action is taken urgently. Keep up-to-date on progress with work by joining our mailing list.