A cross-sector initiative has been established to treat more people in the community, taking pressure off hospital eye services. It was established as a direct result of continued warnings about hospital initiated delays and cancelled follow up appointments.
The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC) has launched the Primary Eye Care Framework, which is designed to help commissioners tackle the hospital capacity issues within their area by delivering support services in the primary care setting.
The new framework will complement the previous Community Ophthalmology Framework launched in 2015, the CCEHC confirmed.
Launching the new initiative, chair of the CCEHC, David Parkins (pictured), said: “Patients are now at risk of losing their sight because of delayed appointments and capacity pressures. Radical change is needed and we urge all Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Eye Health Networks to measure their existing services against these frameworks and use them to expand local capacity to meet need as part of their local Sustainability and Transformation Plans.”
Supporting the move, president of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Professor Carrie MacEwen, said: “It is critical that the ophthalmic sector develops frameworks that support the growing demands made on the multi-disciplinary workforce. This team provides primary and secondary care for patients and we need to ensure that it is delivered through consistent and recognised training and education standards. We advocate the right eye care professional, at the right time and in the right setting.”