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New patient self-advocacy project

31 May 2016

The RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) launched this joint initiative with The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Macular Society‎ and International Glaucoma Association at RCOphth’s Congress on 24 May 2016 in Birmingham. The initiative fits with the RCOphth’s Three Step Plan ‘Reducing risk for eye patients – improving timely care’.  The plan outlines solutions to help overwhelmed hospital eye departments meet demand for services.

Carrie MacEwen, President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said ‘The future of eye health care involves chronic disease management and collaboration across ophthalmic services, not only with health policy makers and commissioning bodies, but also with patients so they understand the importance of their review appointments. It is vital that they follow-up with their clinics any delayed or cancelled appointments. The self-advocacy project will assist patients in understanding their role in getting timely care.’

The project, initiated by RCOphth, will empower patients and help facilitate a better understanding and knowledge of their eye condition and personal treatment plans and encourages patients to inform their eye department if their appointment is delayed beyond the timeframe requested by their doctor. RNIB has developed a number of new materials to be shared with eye departments across the NHS which will help educate and inform patients and will work with ophthalmologists to help their patients understand the importance of timely follow-up appointments.

Carrie continued, ‘I am very encouraged by the development of the patient materials by RNIB.  By working together with the RNIB, the Macular Society and International Glaucoma Association, I hope that the advocacy project will provide ophthalmologists and eye clinic staff materials to share with their patients to help them understand the importance of attending appointments and to encourage patients to follow up on delayed or postponed appointments.’

More information is available on the RNIB website, www.rnib.org.uk/looking-after-my-own-sight