COVID-19 backlog: Moorfields ramps up cataract operations

Moorfields Eye Hospital has revealed it is undertaking a week-long cataract drive as part of efforts to tackle surgical waiting lists

patient and optometrist
Pixabay/Paul Diaconu
Moorfields Eye Hospital began an ambitious ‘cataract drive’ on Tuesday (14 September) as part of efforts to address surgical waiting lists in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moorfields confirmed that eight operating theatres will run cataract operations across six days, quadrupling the number of cataract surgeries usually performed over a week.

Theatres at Moorfields Private will only offer emergency surgeries over the week to enable more cataract operations to be performed.

More than 90 volunteers provided by St John Ambulance will assist the cataract drive, guiding patients through each step of the surgery.

The project is also supported by Alcon, with the company providing intraocular lenses, equipment and technical support.

Moorfields Eye Hospital chief executive, David Probert, highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic had meant that many patients were facing longer waiting times for care.

“This project is the first of its kind and could be an example to rest of the NHS for a new way to clear waiting lists in the wake of COVID-19,” he said.

Moorfields patient, Brenda Silverman, said having cataract surgery would mean that she can get back to doing the things she enjoys.

“Our sight is something we should never take for granted and I am grateful to Moorfields for continuing to help patients like me during these strange times,” she emphasised.