As the population ages, demand for eyecare is rising steeply:
- more than two million people have reduced vision in the UK and it is estimated that this figure will double by 2050
- one in five people over 75 and half of people over 90 are living with sight loss
- by 2020 the number of people with glaucoma is expected to be 22 per cent higher than in 2010.
EyesWise is the Elective Care Transformation Programme’s project to save sight and improve people’s lives, in collaboration with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
It aims to ensure people in England who need consultant led care get it as quickly as possible, and others are spared the need to attend specialist eye clinics.
We have established the EyesWise Virtual Development Collaborative. This will support five local systems – Greater Manchester, Kettering, Brighton and Hove, Southampton and the area served by Central Middlesex Hospital – to introduce virtual clinics for glaucoma. Virtual clinics enable diagnostic information to be gathered without the need for patients to travel to a hospital. This is then reviewed by a specialist and patients are called in for a face-to-face appointment only if necessary.
This ensures that the people most at risk of sight loss get faster treatment, and saves others unnecessary journeys.
Our ophthalmology handbook outlines ‘how-to’ solutions for local systems to improve the elective care they offer for people with serious eye conditions.
We are also working with hospital eye services and national charities including the RNIB (the Royal National Institute of Blind People), the Macular Society and the International Glaucoma Association to support eye patients to talk about their experience of transformed eye services and the impact on their lives. Their stories will be told through our 100 Voices project.
Further EyesWise projects will be rolled out during 2019/20.
This work is supported by a Virtual Development Collaborative which brings together health professionals who want to transform eye care from across the country, to enable and encourage sharing of learning and resources.
Our EyesWise Hub on the Elective Care Community of Practice has examples of excellent eye services, failsafe prioritisation models, case studies, and other resources developed during our High Impact Intervention programme.