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Patients are losing sight because of rising demand in eye clinics

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6877 (Published 15 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6877
  1. Sophie Hives-Wood
  1. 1London

Overstretched eye clinics are too busy to deliver prompt treatment, resulting in many patients losing their sight, a charity has warned.

A survey by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) found that 37% of ophthalmic professionals in England who responded admitted that patients were losing their sight because of lack of capacity in clinics.1 The charity surveyed ophthalmic professionals in summer 2013 and received a total of 172 responses, including 91 from ophthalmologists.

Lesley-Anne Alexander, RNIB’s chief executive, said, “These statistics are shameful, as nobody should lose their sight from a treatable condition simply because their eye clinic is too busy to provide care in a clinically appropriate manner.”

Over 80% of respondents …

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