Joe added: "This necessitates decisive action from policy makers to ensure that eye care services are capable of meeting increasing demand. The RNIB has demonstrated that there is no room for complacency; no one should lose their sight because of delays to their treatment and care. For too long eye health has not been seen as a priority and in far too many areas of the country this is still the case.
"The advent of the Public Health Outcomes Framework indicator on preventing avoidable sight loss is a positive development, but its intentions will not be realised fully as long as these systemic issues with eye care services remain. It is astounding that only 36% of Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) include a specific section on sight loss and eye health – and even more alarming that in some cases commissioners are building their plans based on JSNAs that have no reference to eye health.
"The POPI group wholeheartedly supports the RNIB’s recommendations and hopes that NHS England will heed the report’s calls for a National Clinical Director and an inquiry into the quality of ophthalmic care. We are committed to working with key stakeholders to improve the care that patients receive and we hope that this report will encourage all involved to collaborate at both a national and a local level to safeguard the future of eye care services.”
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Notes to editor:
ABPI Pharmaceutical Ophthalmology Initiative (POPI) is formed of ABPI member companies with an interest in eye health. Its objective is to work with others to raise the standard of eye care and deliver the best possible outcomes for patients across the UK. Bausch + Lomb, MSD, Bayer and Novartis are members of the group and JMC Partners provides the secretariat.