Improving services for patients: Minor eye conditions

NHS commissioners (‘the CCGs’) have begun a programme to transform local NHS services. This programme will ensure that people continue to experience safe, effective, high-quality care, but aims to reduce the need for patients to travel to hospital unless they really need to.

The care pathway for treating minor eye conditions (ophthalmology) is being reviewed as part of this transformation programme.

Minor eye conditions include: allergies, inflammation or infections of the eyes or eyelids, bulging eyes, cysts, styes, ulcers of the eye, dry eye syndrome, twitches, inward turning eyelids, ingrowing eyelashes, floaters, visual disturbances, painful bloodshot eye, palsy of the eye muscles, Inflamed optic nerve, problems with the blood vessels in the eye, loss of vision.

The existing contract to provide this service expires in September 2016 and this if the perfect opportunity to make any changes before the new contract is put in place.

This transformation programme builds on the feedback we had last autumn, when we asked people for their views about the Berkshire West Primary Care Strategy and the future of NHS services. At that time a growing number of people said they were willing to engage with a clinician over the phone or using email. Also we had feedback that people were aware of the challenges facing the NHS through local and national media coverage and accept that NHS services need to change to cope with the demands on them. In planning services for the future, we need to make sure that services meet the needs of patients effectively, whilst achieving the best value for money.

For this review of the ophthalmology service we want to get the views of people from all backgrounds, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or socio-economic background.

We encourage feedback from everyone with an interest in this area and there is a short survey on the Berkshire Health Network (www.healthnetwork-berkshire.nhs.uk ) to gather views. The survey will close on 22 May 2016 and the feedback and views gathered will be used to inform the specification developed for the new provider contract.
Please pass on the news of this review and the link to the survey to anyone who might be interested in giving us feedback about the ophthalmology service.

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