A report by Monitor suggesting that post-operative cataract care should be provided in the community has been welcomed by national representative bodies for optometrists and opticians.
The Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) and the Optical Confederation (OC) have backed Monitor’s recommendation in their report on elective surgery that post-operative, follow-up care for patients who have had cataract surgery should be provided in the community by optometrists.
Both LOCSU and the OC agree with the health watchdog that the move would help ease the pressure on hospital ophthalmology clinics.
Responding to the report Katrina Venerus, LOCSU managing director, said: “This is eminently sensible and the community optical sector believes it should be implemented across the country. Despite the obvious benefits, to date, only 23 out of the 209 CCGs in England have commissioned this approach to bring efficiency to the cataract care pathway and provide care closer to home for patients. This means that for the majority of the 370,000 cataract procedures that are carried out per year, patients still have to travel to hospital for an outpatient appointment. Administration costs associated with commissioning and contracting would be minimised if NHS England commissioned the post-operative follow-up pathway as a national service on behalf of all CCGs.”