Eye Care Services
Earlier this year, the health and care system in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin embarked on a programme of work to transform local eye care services.
The aim is to provide effective eye care services that are more joined up so that adults and children get the best care possible when and where they need it.
We ran several engagement activities that enabled us to capture valuable insight, including a public survey, community outreach and a series of workshops.
While most people told us that they had had a good experience of our services, we also heard about areas that could be improved.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to talk to us and share their views and experiences. All this rich insight will help us design a model that best meets the needs and wishes of our population.
The programme team is now using all the learning gathered to design the future model and will be seeking further feedback on any proposed changes later this year.
Meet some of the programme team:
From left to right: Claire Roberts (clinical lead); Marie-Claire Wigley; Lucy Jones; and Barrie Reis-Seymour
Nationally, the NHS is experiencing significant pressure and high levels of demand for elective care, with around 1.7 million patients referred for elective consultant-led treatment every month. To meet this growing demand, the redesign of elective care services is a must-do for every local health and care system.
The NHS Long Term Plan ambition to avoid unnecessary face to face outpatient attendances has become an urgent priority as we respond to Covid19 and restore services.
The plan clarifies the direction for health and care over the next ten years, including the importance of transforming outpatient services.
It sets out the need to remove up to a third of hospital outpatient attendances a year by 2023/24, avoiding additional expenditure and ensuring all patients can access digital outpatient care.
Our Eye Health Needs Assessment (EHNA 2019) highlights significant growth in cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) due to an ageing population, with a projected rise in AMD and cataract of over 55% between 2016 and 2030.
We need to find solutions capable of meeting current and future demand for eye care services.
This programme of transformation will bring together national recommendations from the NHSEI Ophthalmology Elective Care Handbook, NHSEI Eye-care Restoration roadmap and Eye-care Planning Implementation Guidance. These include:
better use of technology
identifying patients who are at risk of developing eye conditions
better use of data to track where people are in the pathway
optimising the role of optometrists as first contact practitioners
more joined up services.
This programme is also aligned with our system pledges:
improving safety & quality
integrating services at place and neighbourhood level
tackling health inequalities and access to health
climate change – reducing the need for travel to hospital for appointments
enhanced engagement and accountability through full public and clinical involvement and engagement
workforce and system leadership.