I recently attended a parliamentary reception organised by the APPG for Eye Health and Visual Impairment.
They have launched a new report following an inquiry into health services for eye care. The report found that the current eye health system is failing patients because there is not enough capacity in the system to ensure everyone is treated promptly.
The inquiry calls for urgent action and has the support of key organisations including RNIB, the Optical Confederation and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
There were almost 7.6 million ophthalmology appointments in 2016/17 in England, but just over half of patients told the inquiry they had experienced at least one appointment or treatment being delayed. Seventy-seven per cent of patients felt this caused them anxiety or stress, and 54 per cent felt it had a negative impact on their day-to-day life.
The report calls for the Health Secretary, NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, local authorities, commissioners, delivery bodies, NHS providers and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) to act now.
Nobody in my constituency or elsewhere should be at risk of losing their sight from a treatable condition simply because the eye clinic is too busy to provide the necessary care in good time.