The winners of the 2018–19 Ophthalmology Honours have been recognised during a presentation held at BMA House, London (7 March).
Facilitated by Bayer and supported by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Visionary, the awards celebrate the outstanding work carried out by multi-disciplinary teams in ophthalmology across the UK.
The awards were established to enable the ophthalmology community to share best practice, so that practical solutions can be discussed and implemented more widely, with the aim of improving the care and experience of patients, the organisers explained.
The Best Ophthalmology Team Award was awarded to University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust for its uveitis service. The service was established in 2012 and is now providing tertiary-level care across south Birmingham and the surrounding region, and quaternary-level care for rare uveitis syndromes, such as for example birdshot chorioretinopathy and punctate inner choroidopathy.
Describing the service as “inspirational,” the judges noted the complexity of uveitis means that care in non-specialist clinics is difficult, delaying diagnosis and reducing access to modern National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-approved treatments.
The Royal Group of Hospitals, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust received a highly commended for its Neuro-Ophthalmic Visual Impairment in Children – a multidisciplinary service for children with sight impairment due to neurological dysfunction.
Commenting on this year’s entries, consultant in ophthalmology at Bradford Royal Infirmary and steering committee member, Helen Devonport, said: “There is always a high standard of entries to the Ophthalmology Honours, and this year is no exception. It is inspiring to see the excellent work that is undertaken across the country in ophthalmology and have the opportunity to acknowledge what the finalists have achieved, with the ultimate aim of sharing key learnings so their outstanding work might be replicated in other hospitals.”
Medical director of ophthalmology and neurology at Bayer, Dr Jackie Napier, said: “We are very proud of the Ophthalmology Honours programme, and in particular of all the entrants who have demonstrated outstanding work, resulting in advancements in ophthalmology and ultimately improved patient care. The programme supports and acknowledges the importance of multidisciplinary and innovative working in the NHS, both of which Bayer wholeheartedly support as part of our commitment to transforming lives.”