Eye Blog

05/04/18
Date: 29/10/2016
Category: NHS, Eye Appointments
Tags: Delays, Sight, Eye Clinic

Don't we Brits just love talking about the weather and the current state of the NHS? Not that we can be blamed, both are predictable only in their unpredictability.
But as the long, dark winter evenings draw in, and we put the clock backs in an effort to 'cheat' our brains into believing otherwise, our attention is diverted to the shortage of eye clinic appointments in our beloved NHS service. The reports published by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the RNIB of permanent sight loss occurring as a result of delays to hospital care are disturbing.

Closer to home, a recent clinical audit carried out in my NHS diabetic eye service showed that one in twenty patients suffer avoidable clinical harm if there are long delays in care. On a more positive note, I have been actively involved in developing patient pathways for those of you with less severe diabetic eye disease, so you can be seen in community eye clinics. The key to success will lie with maintaining strong links between the hospital and community services.

So how can you help take the pressure off your NHS hospital service?

Educating yourself about your condition, being healthy and complying with your doctors advice will delay the onset of diabetic eye disease which is a late complication of diabetes. Attending diabetic eye screening tests once a year helps pick up eye disease in the early stage and regular visits to your optician act as a second safety net. Lastly, being pro-active regarding your eye clinic appointments and your eye care does help. Let us know when you can't attend your appointment, or when your appointment is delayed.