Louisa Wickham reappointed as national clinical director for eye care
Wickham will remain in position for the next three years, NHS England has confirmed
18 January 2024
Louisa Wickham has been reappointed as national clinical director of eye care for the next three years.
Wickham, who is a consultant ophthalmologist and medical director at Moorfields Eye Hospital, has been in the role since July 2022.
National clinical directors, all of whom are practising clinicians, are recruited by NHS England on part-time secondments or three-year tenures. Wickham’s reappointment will see her retain the position until January 2027.
The announcement was made on the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Twitter feed, and was confirmed to OT by NHS England.
Adam Sampson, AOP chief executive, said: “The appointment of Louisa Wickham as national clinical director for eye care for a three-year term is a welcomed move that will help to drive home the importance of getting eye care services in England on the right footing.
"With an ever-growing need to address the pressures being faced in the NHS, the next 12 months will be critical in ensuring optometrists are able to use their existing clinical skills to the full for the benefit of patients."
Sampson added: "The best and most effective way to significantly reduce the burden on GPs, A&E and ophthalmology is to manage more eye care in the community. We will continue to work with the national clinical director to optimise primary care optometry, tackling the key obstacles that are currently inhibiting care such as IT connectivity, so the full skills of clinicians are used to deliver high quality, equitable and timely care for patients.”
National clinical directors work part-time, providing support, advice and clinical leadership in areas from stroke and diabetes to prescribing and outpatient recovery and transformation.
Wickham is the first national clinical director for eye care.
Shortly after her initial appointment, in 2022, she told delegates at the National Optical Conference that she wants to “make sure that people don’t lose their sight through lack of access to appropriate care,” adding that “we need to design a system with the most vulnerable patients at its heart.”