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Did the PCT or Hospital in your constituency receive a Red Diagnosis showing poor provision of treatment in one of four eye conditions? If it did we'd appreciate your support for our campaign. We have drafted letters, below, that we'd appreciate your support in sending to the PCT or hospital concerned.
You should have received a copy of the findings covering your constituency at our Parliamentary Reception on 23rd May. If you'd like a further copy or more information then please contact Matt Davies on 020 7391 2382 or email Saveoursight@rnib.org.uk
Draft Letters for MPs to send to PCTs or Hospitals
Red Diagnosis for Cataract Treatment – draft letter to PCT
[Cataract Treatment Letter.doc]
Red Diagnosis for Macular Oedema following retinal vein occlusion Treatment – draft letter to PCT
[Macular Oedema following retinal vein occlusion letter.doc]
Red Diagnosis for Wet age-related macular degeneration Treatment
[Wet age-related macular degeneration letter.doc]
Red Diagnosis for Glaucoma Treatment – draft letter to Hospital
'Save Our Sight'
Around 50% of sight loss in the UK is avoidable if detected and treated early enough.
RNIB is campaigning to improve access to treatments and service provision for the four main eye conditions - wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (wAMD), Cataract, Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy. It builds upon past RNIB campaigning work including a joint initiative undertaken with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (in 2011) to help remove arbitrary restrictions on cataract surgery.
RNIB has spent the past few months collecting information from every PCT and hospital in England to examine treatment policies for these eye conditions. We have found both positive and negative variations across the country and headlines findings show:
1. Arbitrary visual acuity thresholds for cataract operations are in place in 57% of PCTs.
2. 58% of hospitals did not know how many glaucoma follow-up appointments had been delayed or rescheduled in the past year.
3. Six months after a new treatment for macular oedema following retinal vein occlusion was approved by NICE, 12% of PCTs had no service in place and 42% had a sub-standard service.
4. There is a patchwork approach to treating patients with wet Age-related Macular Degeneration, with some hospitals using an unlicensed drug despite a licensed and NICE approved alternative being available.
In light of these findings we believe:
1. PCTs must follow the DH "Action on Cataracts" guidance and not use arbitrary visual acuity levels to restrict access to surgery. We call on those who deviate from the guidance to evidence their decision and engage in dialogue with RNIB.
2. Hospitals must introduce a robust system to monitor glaucoma follow-up appointments. This will help ensure that any delayed or rescheduled appointments do not result in irreversible sight loss in glaucoma patients, in line with statement eight of the NICE Glaucoma Quality Standard.
3. New treatments recommended by NICE must be made available to clinicians and patients within the recommended three month deadline.
4. A review of the safety and efficacy data by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and NICE must be undertaken before Avastin can be used by the NHS to treat wet age-related macular Degeneration.
For more information contact Matt Davies, Parliamentary Manager at RNIB on 020 7391 2382 or email: email@example.com