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Eye care commissioning toolkit launched

Eye care commissioning toolkit launched


More efficient eye-care services could be commissioned due to a toolkit launched with the aim of supporting care closer to the home. 

Achieving Commissioning Excellence (ACE), developed in partnership with the NHS Alliance and Novartis, is a document which identifies why commissioners might aim to redesign eye care services in their area, outlining opportunities for redesign and the risks of not restructuring services. 

The document claims that eye care services lend themselves to new ways of working, for example moving services traditionally provided in a hospital to the community and introducing new roles in acute care settings. 

Because the commissioning landscape is split, with local area teams commissioning primary care optometry and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) responsible for other ophthalmology services there is the opportunity to jointly redesign eye care services. 

Michael Sobanja, policy lead at the NHS Alliance said: “We really wanted to create something that would provide practical support for both commissioners and providers, and show that change wasn’t just possible ‘in theory’. 

“This is why ophthalmology seemed like such a good place to start as eye care services lend themselves to new ways of working.”

Hugh Janes, senior commissioning manager for Fareham & Gosport, South Eastern and Portsmouth CCGs said: “This will be a useful tool for commissioners looking to evaluate services in their area; it makes you think about the commissioning process, and whether real improvements can be made to the way systems currently operate.”

Dr Kamlesh Chauhan, president of the College of Optometrists welcomed the report. 

He said: “Demand for eye care is rising but as this basic summary shows there is a lot more we can do to increase capacity and improve efficiency.  For commissioners who want to meet this challenge by improving the value of their services, the College of Optometrists and Royal College of Ophthalmologists are publishing joint recommendations on Monday on three major areas of eye care activity: urgent eye care, age-related macular degeneration and low vision”.

The paper, which was developed collaboratively by commissioners and experts working in the ophthalmology sector, is available to view on the NHS ACE website


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