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Framework launched to tackle capacity issues at hospital eye services

SAFE is designed to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to delivering eye health pathways

Eye test

The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC) has launched the Systems and Assurance Framework for Eye health (SAFE).

The body, which is made up of eye care organisations and charities, has created the framework in response to capacity issues within the hospital eye services as well as pressures on general practice.

It is designed to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to delivering eye health pathways is taken by Clinical Commissioning Groups, local authority commissioners, local eye health networks and providers across health and social care. 

Speaking about the launch of SAFE, consultant ophthalmologist and chair of the CCEHC, Parul Desai, said: “The development of SAFE has been clinically led and clinically driven to ensure safe and effective services are available to meet individual and population eye health needs.”

“This cross-sector initiative provides the basis for the organisation and delivery of pathways of care that patients can reasonably expect wherever they may live, with processes that provide assurance on quality and governance,” she added. 

SAFE is based on four principles: A system-based approach to the planning, commissioning and provision of services; assurance in delivering better outcomes for patients, as well as reducing duplication and waste of NHS resources; a framework that provides consistency in the approaches taken to improve access, availability and integration of services; and a focus on eye health conditions, such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and cataract.