RNIB launches joint initiative to help patients get timely follow-up appointments for their eye conditions

Post date: 
Wednesday, 25 May 2016
Timely follow-up appointments

RNIB is encouraging eye care professionals to join forces on a new patient-self advocacy project. 

A new RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) joint initiative is working with ophthalmologists to help their patients understand the importance of timely follow-up appointments.
Launched at The Royal College of Ophthalmologists Annual Congress on 24 May 2016, the patient self-advocacy initiative is jointly run by RNIB, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Macular Society‎ and International Glaucoma Association. 
The self-advocacy project encourages patients to inform their eye department if their appointment is delayed beyond the timeframe requested by their doctor. A number of new materials have been developed to help educate and inform patients. 
Along with supporting clinicians to help educate their patients, the initiative fits with The Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Three Step Plan that outlines solutions to help overwhelmed hospital eye departments meet demand for services. The project will empower patients and help facilitate a better understanding and knowledge of their eye condition and personal treatment plans. 
Steve Winyard, Head of Policy and Campaigns at RNIB, said: “Self-advocacy is an important skill in today’s complex and over-stretched NHS. RNIB is calling on eye departments to support the joint initiative so they can help ensure their patients are seen and reviewed based on the timeframe recommended by their clinician.
“We are working with The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Macular Society,‎ and International Glaucoma Association to encourage patients to have the confidence to advocate for themselves. This is especially important where vital timely eye appointments may be cancelled or delayed by the hospital.”
Professor Carrie MacEwen, President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said: "The future of eye health care involves chronic disease management and collaboration across ophthalmic services, not only with health policy makers and commissioning bodies, but also with patients so they understand the importance of their review appointments. It is vital that they follow-up with their clinics any delayed or cancelled appointments. The self-advocacy project will assist patients in understanding their role in getting timely care."

Further information

  • Contact Holly Heath, Policy and campaigns officer, for more information about the campaign [email protected].
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