Ophthalmic Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th August 2020.

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Photo of Bambos Charalambous Bambos Charalambous Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to begin collecting data on the effect of cancelled ophthalmology services on patients.

Photo of Bambos Charalambous Bambos Charalambous Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make an estimate of the number of people that will experience preventable sight loss as a result of (a) cancelled and (b) delayed services in 2020; and how many ophthalmology patients who are shielding are unable to accesses time sensitive ophthalmology services.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Data is reported centrally on the number of cancelled or delayed outpatient ophthalmology appointments only. Guidance has been issued to local National Health Service providers and commissioners trusts on the restart of non-COVID-19 services, starting with the most clinically urgent cases and ensuring this is done safely with appropriate infection control. Local providers and their clinical teams, rather than the Department, are best placed to consider the appropriate management of patient cases locally as services are restarted.

The Government is providing an additional £3 billion to the NHS, which includes funding for continued access to the independent sector to carry out routine treatments and procedures as well as provide additional capacity for COVID-19 patients, should it be needed.

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