Update from Duncan Bedford, Programme Director
Our previous two updates have focused on high impact initiatives identified as areas where change can be delivered quickly.
For this update, we focus on how we are working together to provide high quality, efficient eye health (ophthalmology) that ensure service users receive the right care in the right place at the right time and reduces unnecessary hospital attendances.
The ophthalmology transformation work has been divided into three distinct projects:
- A system wide project team is identifying the eye health needs of the population, projected over the next 10 years. This work will inform our approach to designing, planning and commissioning services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
- Significant work has been undertaken to review the ophthalmology waiting lists, ensuring those patients deemed as the highest risk are prioritised and treated first.
- A comprehensive analysis has been completed which has highlighted any gaps in the provision of care for eye health, identifying areas of the highest demand. Clinical pathways, focused on prevention, will be developed and we will increase community provision, particularly for pre- and post-cataract patients and expand eye services in the community for children and young people.
The aims of these projects are to:
- Promote self-management by ensuring patients are provided with education regarding their condition, treatment and impact this may have on their lifestyle
- Ensure patients receive appointments in the community, where clinically appropriate, reducing demand on hospitals and promoting care closer to home and right care, right place, right time
- Ensure only those patients who need to be seen in specialty clinics are offered face-to-face appointments
- Minimise disruption to patients and carers by offering them a range of alternatives to hospital appointments
- Offer patient-initiated appointments for routine follow-ups where clinically appropriate
- Ensure all patient experiences are reported as positive and that they would recommend the service to family and/or friends
- Support the achievement of reduced waiting times by effectively managing demand for hospital services.
We are expanding the provision within the community by offering Optometrists the chance to undertake additional qualifications that enable them to deliver glaucoma provision.