Post date: 
Friday, 28 July 2017
Picture shows view of Parliament from across Westminster Bridge

An inquiry has been called by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eye Health and Visual Impairment into capacity problems in NHS eye care services and avoidable sight loss in England.

The APPG inquiry is investigating how national and local health commissioning and planning can work to ensure capacity meets demand for eye health services. There is a broad consensus in the eye health sector that capacity problems need to be addressed to prevent avoidable sight loss.

The inquiry also seeks to identify the barriers and opportunities to helping prevent avoidable sight loss.

What is the APPG?

The APPG on Eye Health and Visual Impairment is made up of cross-party members from both Houses of the UK Parliament. The group meets monthly and its purpose is to inform and educate parliamentarians about:

  1. the importance of high quality eye care for the prevention of eye disease, sight loss and blindness and for the eye health of the nation,
  2. and to promote better understanding of visual impairment and greater social inclusion.

The APPG inquiry is calling for evidence from:

  • The Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England
  • commissioners and NHS Eye Departments
  • Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs)
  • patients and their families
  • health profession bodies, charities, and research and health industry organisations, and
  • other areas of health policy to see what lessons can be applied to eye health.

Lord Colin Low, Co-Chair of the APPG, said: "I am delighted that the APPG on Eye Health and Visual Impairment has launched this inquiry. Emerging problems of under-capacity in the Health Service make it particularly timely.  I encourage all interested parties to submit evidence and very much look forward to the hearings taking place in the autumn."

The inquiry is taking evidence from now until the autumn. The evidence will be reviewed to produce a report in early 2018 with a clear set of recommendations, and showcase best practice from eye health and other areas of healthcare.

The APPG will submit the report and its recommendations to the Secretary of State for Health, NHS delivery bodies, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Sustainability Transformation Partnership Footprint Leads for their consideration and response.

The APPG Inquiry is supported by an independent secretariat hosted by the RNIB. 

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