What happened to the Call of Action for eye health?

Post date: 
Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Twelve months,  8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,00 seconds – so many ways to describe a year.

And if you are Mike Bewick, deputy medical director of NHS England, you might have some explaining to do. Last year, he was very keen to promote a call to action initiative aimed at improving eye health and reducing sight loss.
It was an ambitious initiative that urged patients and professionals to help shape the future of services and care across the country. 
The consultation ended last September and like a deflated MP that cruelly lost his seat at the last election, we haven’t heard a lot about it since. 
It started off so well. I even got the chance to interview the amenable Mike about the importance of this exercise and he vowed that this consultation would not be lost, buried or even filed under missing and last seen in a bin near you. Okay, I made that bit up. But he did say that we should expect to see an action plan early this year. 
I know I wear glasses, but even I can see an action plan when it is put in front of me.  
So, why are we waiting? 
David Amess MP recently asked about it in Parliament and guess what, there has been some er action.   
Alistair Burt, on behalf of the Department said that while NHS England had not formally published its findings, some key themes had emerged
These included: 
  • a desire to see a greater delivery of care in the community
  • a call for greater patient and user involvement in service redesign, particularly with more engagement of third sector organisations
  • recognition that care pathways for eye health disorders needed to better reflect opportunities for health promotion
  • greater awareness of reablement/rehabilitation for service users with visual impairment and sight loss
Mr Burt added that there was also feedback highlighting the need for a review of IT systems across England, to better support integration of the eye sector in both community and hospital services. 
The Department of Health said that NHS England has discussed the findings with commissioners and stakeholders, and work is underway to “develop local and national responses to the findings as part of NHS England’s business plan for 2015/16.” 
So now you know. Still it would be good to see a bit more movement, I mean" Call for Inaction", doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? 
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