Commissioning in focus

Variability among extended services was highlighted at the British Emergency Eye Care Society’s annual meeting in Birmingham


An ophthalmologist shared insight into the state of UK eye health commissioning at the British Emergency Eye Care Society's annual meeting in Birmingham (29 September).

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon, Dilani Siriwardena, told delegates how the majority of the NHS England budget was spent by Clinical Commissioning Groups – amounting to £73 billion of the £102 bn spent by the health service in 2015/2016.

She added that around £2.2 bn is spent on commissioning eye health services each year.

However, Ms Siriwardena highlighted that there was variability among the services provided under the current commissioning model.

There is also a lack of evidence about what works, she shared.

"It's very limited. A particular Clinical Commissioning Group may monitor the quality of its service but it won't know what's happening elsewhere," she elaborated.

The level of training provided to both optometrists and ophthalmologists working within the Minor Eye Condition Services varies, Ms Siriwardena explained.

New guidance on urgent eye care commissioning is being developed by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and is scheduled to be released in 2018.