Campaign Update: The All Party Parliamentary Group on Eye Health and Vision Impairment

Post date: 
Monday, 2 July 2018

Campaign to stop people losing their sight due to cancelled or delayed clinical appointments

Lens being held to eye of patient
Up to 22 people a month are losing their sight because of cancelled or delayed eye clinic appointments, and RNIB is working to change this. Helen Lee, Eye Health Policy Manager at RNIB, tells us about the campaign to improve NHS services.

Patients who have conditions such as glaucomadiabetic eye disease and wet macular degeneration need regular appointments and treatment. When their clinical appointments are cancelled or delayed due to the increasing demand on eye clinics, it can mean these patients losing sight that cannot be regained.

Last year, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eye Health and Vision Impairment held an inquiry into this capacity problem. As a result, 16 recommendations have been identified in a report called “See the light: Improving capacity in NHS eye care in England”. We are confident that these recommendations, if implemented, will help improve capacity in NHS eye care services.

We are focusing on two calls to action: Firstly, we need eye health to be prioritised within the NHS and specifically for eye health to be included in the NHS mandate for England. 

The second relates to the new NHS planning system. Currently, NHS organisations and local councils are developing shared proposals to improve health and social care, called Sustainability and Transformation plans (STPs), in 44 areas covering all of England. We are asking for the issue of eye health capacity to be included in these STPs. This will really help to improve the planning and commissioning of eye care services.

To download the report and find out more about our work to support the implementation of the recommendations visit the APPG webpage.