Eye Care Strategy

Closed 27 Nov 2017

Opened 13 Oct 2017

Results updated 7 Feb 2020



Eye health is important as problems are a major cause of disability and affect people’s quality of life. Problems increase with age. It is important that problems are identified early and that people are aware of the importance of eye health. 

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spends more than twice as much on eye health as most areas in England, partly because of the need for people with rare conditions to travel off-Island for treatment. However, hospital waiting times at Noble’s Hospital are unacceptably long.

Currently the Department is funding sight tests annually, more frequently than recommended by experts.

Therefore, where clinically appropriate, it is proposed that sight tests should be conducted every two years

The Ophthalmology Department at Noble’s Hospital is very busy, providing more than 12,000 appointments each year. It provides good quality care and outcomes, but is struggling to cope with existing demand. With an ageing population the need and demand for services will increase. 

The Ophthalmology Department at Noble’s Hospital does not provide many of the new services that have been developed elsewhere.

It is proposed that changes are made to staffing and the way services operate to allow more care to be provided on the Island.

Pressure will be taken off the Ophthalmology Department by high street optometrists being funded to look after people with minor eye conditions, rather than people having to go to hospital.

The Island is fortunate in having a number of active voluntary sector organisations which support people with low or no vision. There is a need to make sure that health services and other agencies make best use of these important services.

This is a strategy for consultation. It sets out a path that we believe will provide better services for local people.  

Why your views matter

The strategy identifies the need to:

  • redesign the service provided by Ophthalmology staff at Noble’s Hospital
  • improve what can be offered on-Island
  • avoid more patients having to travel across to the UK

This may be accomplished either through:

  1. extending the skills within the hospital Ophthalmology Department

    or if this proves impossible
  2. through the development of partnership arrangements with an off-Island provider, similar to that provided to patients receiving treatment for Age-Related Macular Degeneration on-Island by staff from Aintree

We are fortunate in having a number of committed and expert organisations in the voluntary sector who work to promote eye health and support people who experience sight loss to make adjustments to their lives.

We want to hear the views of everyone involved in eye health and people using our services about what we are proposing.  

What happens next

Once all views have been received the Department will consider them when finalising the Eye Care Strategy.


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