Margaret Greenwood MP calls for improvements to eye health system which report claims is ‘failing patients’
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20 Jun 2018
Greenwood, MP for Wirral West, has attended the parliamentary reception of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eye Health and Visual Impairment and met with The
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
reception launched the APPG’s report following its inquiry into capacity issues
in eye care. It found the current eye health system is failing patients on a
grand scale but can be fixed if the NHS prioritises eye health and action is
inquiry and its calls for urgent action are supported by key organisations
including RNIB, the Optical Confederation, and the Royal College of
Ophthalmologists. The inquiry received evidence from 557 patients and 112
were almost 7.6 million ophthalmology appointments in 2016/17 in England, a
figure which has increased by more than 10 per cent over the past four years.
over half of patients told the inquiry they had experienced at least one
appointment or treatment being delayed. Seventy-seven per cent of patients felt
this caused them anxiety or stress, and 54 per cent felt it had a negative
impact on their day-to-day life.
also expressed concerns about long waiting times, problems securing
appointments, a lack of continuity in their care and poor communication from
report is calling for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, NHS
England, the Department of Health and Social Care, local authorities,
commissioners, delivery bodies and NHS providers to act now on eye health.
Margaret Greenwood MP said:
“I support calls to
make eye health a priority in the NHS. Sight loss has a devastating impact on
all aspects of a person’s life; it really is important that the NHS is able to
provide treatment in good time to those in need.
“Some of the statistics I was shown at
the APPG meeting are a cause for real concern.
“I will write to the Chief Officer of
Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure the eye health needs of my
constituents in Wirral West are taken into consideration and properly
Southwood, RNIB Chair, said:
should lose sight from a treatable condition simply because their eye clinic is
too busy to provide care in a clinically appropriate timescale.
the recommendations in this report will help to meet the increasing demands for
eye care services, deliver strategic and joined up eye care, and reduce the
numbers of patients losing their sight because of delays.”