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RCOphth receives funding boost to continue to improve cataract patient outcomes through its national database audit

10 January 2020

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) is delighted to announce further funding to support the continuation of the National Ophthalmology Database (NOD), which collects data on cataract surgery performed in England and Wales and benchmarked reports on performance of individual surgeons with the aim of improving patient care.

The funding from Alcon over three years is hugely welcomed and will boost the internationally renowned NOD which already can showcase significant improved patient outcomes and a reduction in surgical errors:

  • A 38% overall reduction in PCR complications since 2010
  • In the 2017-18 reporting period only 1.2% of operations were affected by PCR
  • A 37% overall reduction in VA Loss since 2010
  • Reduction in PCR complications since 2010 equates to 3,400 fewer complications annually across the NHS
  • Cost saving from avoided PCR complications of £2 million per annum

The potential of NOD has been recognised at the highest levels of government. In a letter to RCOphth President Mike Burdon, Nadine Dorries, Minister for Health, praised the ‘striking’ economic and clinical benefits offered by NOD, having the potential to eradicate variation in cataract surgery and reduce surgical errors.

Funding came to an end from the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) in August 2019 and RCOphth will continue the audit through funding from industry, trusts and other available sources.

Mike Turner, Surgical Business Unit Head, Alcon UK & Ireland, commented, ‘Alcon is delighted to partner with the National Ophthalmology Data Base and The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. As the global leader in eye care, we are committed to ensuring that we continue to develop innovative technologies and solutions with patient outcomes and health system specific benefits at the centre of what we are trying to achieve. This partnership is a great opportunity to future-proof the ability of the NHS to measure these outcomes through objective means, both now and in the future.’

Mike Burdon, President of RCOphth said, ‘Alcon’s commitment to the National Ophthalmology Database demonstrates how partnerships between industry and RCOphth can be invaluable in sustaining projects that make a real difference to patient care. By working together, including funding from trusts, NOD can continue to produce high quality performance outcomes which can result in considerable savings for an already over-burdened NHS.’

What our members can do

We will be shortly releasing a guide on how you as a member can engage prospective parliamentary candidate in your area on health issues, with a focus on explaining the benefits of NOD. We are calling on members to help raise NOD’s profile. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch by emailing: [email protected]

You can find more resources on NOD here and read the College’s NOD Annual Report here

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