New tool to improve delivery of local eye health services launched

Eye Level, a free audit tool created by Roche and the RNIB, has been designed to showcase patient data to policy makers and the eye health community

An iPhone and the edge of a laptop keyboard are shown on a wooden tabletop alongside an open notebook and a pen

A new eye health audit tool with the aim of improving the delivery of local eye health services has been launched by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Roche UK.

It is hoped that Eye Level will help to clearly demonstrate data to policy makers and the eye health community, leading to an improvement in eye care services.

The dashboard tool presents data on eye care services in England, looking at how patients are prioritised, what services they have access to, how services are delivered, and patient outcomes.

It also benchmarks eye health outcomes, patient experiences, and access to treatments sub-nationally, highlighting variation across different regions of England.
It is hoped that Eye Level will help to improve outcomes for patients living with or at risk of sight loss.

As of March 2023, there were 627,140 people on ophthalmology waiting lists in England, including over 21,407 who had been waiting a year or more.

Ophthalmology is the busiest outpatient specialty in the NHS and accounts for 10% of the NHS elective care backlog. Eye conditions are estimated to cost the UK economy £25 billion annually.

The Eye Level tool is free, and James Lorigan, eye care commissioning lead for the Pathway Innovation Programme at NHS England, is urging commissioners to make use of it.

“As well as the enormous personal cost to the individuals affected by sight loss, there is a significant cost to health and social care services from sight loss and the management of sight threatening conditions,” Lorigan said.

“Eye Level gives Integrated Care Systems and their partners the information on unmet need as well as their performance relative to their neighbours, to design services that better meet the need of their patients. I would encourage all commissioners to make use of Eye Level.”

Phil Ambler, RNIB’s England country director, added: “Eye Level is a valuable tool to support systems planning for commissioners and policymakers across the eye health community, particularly in high and low-performing areas, as well as acting as a repository to track performance over time.

“Eye Level is designed to support improvements to the provision of local eye health services for patients with waiting times being reduced and to influence better patient outcomes with improved services being offered.”

Eye Level was developed in collaboration with RNIB, and funded and commissioned by Roche Products Ltd.

Thom Renwick, ophthalmology lead at Roche, emphasised that the data provided by Eye Level “will be a key driver in supporting successful policy change within national and local eye health services.”

“It is able to identify areas for improvement and share best practice, helping to transform eye care services in England,” Renwick added.

More information can be found on the Eye Level website