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Found 9 results
  1. News Article
    A woman has become blind after her monthly eye injections were delayed for four months during lockdown. Helen Jeremy, 73, said everything she enjoyed doing has "gone out of the window" after losing her eyesight. She has glaucoma and was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration four years ago. Monthly injections controlled the condition and meant she could still drive and play the piano. However, her appointments were cancelled when the pandemic struck and her eyesight deteriorated. "I was panicking. It was terrifying. Because I'm a widow I'm on my own and it was awful," she said. "Suddenly my eyesight was basically gone. By the time of my next appointment I was told there was no point in going on with these injections because the damage had been done to the back of my eye." Thousands more people in Wales are at risk of "irreversible sight loss" because of treatment delays, RNIB Cymru warns. The Welsh Government said health boards are working to increase services. Read full story Source: BBC News, 27 November 2020
  2. News Article
    Labour is demanding new investment for the NHS as part of the government’s spending review next week, after analysis shows hundreds of thousands of patients are waiting for life-changing operations. The party’s shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, will challenge Matt Hancock in Parliament on today over the latest NHS data, which reveal almost 500,000 patients are waiting for surgery on their hips, knees and other bones. Last week, NHS England published new data showing more than 1.7 million people were waiting longer than the NHS target of 18-weeks for treatment. The target was last met in February 2016. An analysis of NHS England data reveal which specialities have been hardest hit by the growing backlog of operations, which has soared since the first wave of coronavirus caused widespread hospital cancellations earlier this year. There were 4.3 million patients on NHS waiting lists for hospital treatments in September. Labour said this included 477,250 waiting for trauma and orthopaedic surgery, with 252,247 patients waiting over 18 weeks. The next worst specialty was ophthalmology, which treats eye disorders, with 444,828 patients on waiting lists, 233,425 of whom have waited more than 18 weeks. There were six figure waiting lists over 18 weeks for other specialties including gynaecology, urology, general surgery, and ear, nose and throat patients. Read full story Source: 17 November 2020
  3. News Article
    Delays to follow-up appointments for glaucoma patients leaves them at risk of sight loss, the Healthcare Investigation Safety Branch (HSIB) warns in their new report. The report highlights the case of a 34-year old woman who lost her sight as a result of 13 months of delays to follow-up appointments. Lack of timely follow-up for glaucoma patients is a recognised national issue across the NHS. Research suggests that around 22 patients a month will suffer severe or permanent sight loss as a result of the delays. In HSIB’s reference case, the patient saw seven different ophthalmologists and the time between her initial referral to hospital eye services (HES) and laser eye surgery was 11 months. By this time her sight had deteriorated so badly, she was registered as severely sight impaired. The investigation identified that there is inadequate HES capacity to meet demand for glaucoma services, and that better, smarter ways of working should be implemented to maximise the current capacity. The report makes several safety recommendations focused on the management and prioritisation of appointments. Helen Lee, RNIB Policy and Campaigns Manager, said: “This report has brought vital attention to a serious and dangerous lack of specialist staff and space in NHS ophthalmology services across the country. We know that thousands of patients in England are experiencing delays in time-critical eye care appointments, which is leading to irreversible sight loss for some." “Without immediate action, the situation will only continue to deteriorate as the demand for appointments increases. RNIB urges full and immediate implementation of the recommendations set out in this report to improve the capacity, efficiency and effectiveness of ophthalmology services.” Read full story Source: HSIB, 9 January 2020
  4. Content Article
    Key recommendations from the report Treating clinicians should ensure that all people with ocular hypertension or suspected or diagnosed glaucoma are monitored within the monitoring intervals outlined in the NICE glaucoma guideline, and none of these monitoring appointments should be delayed or cancelled.
  5. News Article
    The coronavirus can linger in patients’ eyes for several weeks and could act as a way of spreading the COVID-19 disease, according new study from Italy. Scientists at Italy’s National Institute for Infectious Diseases hospital in Rome studied the symptoms of an unnamed 65-year-old woman who developed the virus after travelling from the Chinese city of from Wuhan. When the woman developed conjunctivitis – an eye infection causing redness and itchiness – doctors decided to take regular swabs from her eye. They discovered the virus remained present in “ocular samples” up to 21 days after she was admitted to hospital. The team said the findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, indicated that eye fluids from coronavirus patients “may be a potential source of infection”. The study authors said: “These findings highlight the importance of control measures, such as avoiding touching the nose, mouth, and eyes and frequent hand washing.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 24 April 2020
  6. Content Article
    Key recommendations It is recommended that the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, working with relevant stakeholders, develop models and review workforce required for the optimal delivery of glaucoma care. The models should be tested and evaluated. It is recommended that NHS England/Improvement require commissioners to agree, under their service contracts, the action that providers will take to ensure compliance with the Portfolio of Indicators for Eye Health and Care follow-up performance standard. Where the standard has not been met, there should be a requirement for providers to demonstrate that they have reviewed individual pathways and taken action to mitigate risk, as well as to understand the causes of any unnecessary delays to inform improvement. It is recommended that NHS England/Improvement commission NHS Digital to publish reports of hospital eye services’ compliance with the follow-up appointments performance standard included in the Portfolio of Indicators for Eye Health and Care. It is recommended that NHS England/Improvement review the payment for the ongoing management of patients with glaucoma, regardless of setting. Pricing should reflect the complexity and costs of follow-up appointments and encourage new ways of working. It is recommended that NHS Digital include provision for identifying, prioritising and monitoring patients at risk of developing sight loss within the next version of the national Commissioning Data Set. Provision should include the ability to record a risk rating and the recommended follow-up date for each patient, meaning these are mandated data items for collection by hospital eye services. It is recommended that the Royal College of Ophthalmologists agree criteria for the risk stratification of patients with glaucoma so that practice can be standardised across NHS hospital eye services. It is recommended that the International Glaucoma Association facilitate the funding of research into the development and evaluation of an automated, predictive risk stratification tool. Further reading Surveillance of sight loss due to delay in ophthalmic treatment or review: frequency, cause and outcome (Jan 2017) National Patient Safety Agency: Preventing delay to follow up for patients with glaucoma (11 June 2009)
  7. News Article
    Herefordshire clinicians injected a patient in the wrong eye after a technical blunder, board papers have revealed. The Wye Valley Trust patient was injected with an antivascular endothelial growth factor to treat age-related macular degeneration. They did not come to harm as a result of the incident. The mistake occurred after the ophthalmology department deleted a poor quality image of one of the patient’s eyes. This shifted up the other images, which were stored sequentially using software called IMAGEnet6, which led to the mistake. Although initially reported as a “never event,” the incident was downgraded to a “serious incident” after a review by the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The trust, which is still using the software, is updating its standard operating procedure and has installed new technology that can take higher quality images. A spokesman said: “Patient safety is the trust’s priority. While no harm was caused to this patient, the trust has taken this incident seriously.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 21 January 2020
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