Eye Health

In 2013, eye health accounted for 4.5m GP consultations and cost the UK economy £22bn each year. However, evidence showed that 50% of sight loss could be avoided through improved eye care and early detection of problems.

To tackle this growing need, particularly amongst elderly patients, the RCGP chose eye health, with a focus on ageing and sight loss, as a clinical priority from 2013-2016.

Clinical leadership for this programme was provided by Dr Waqaar Shah, RCGP Clinical Champion for eye health.  Dr Shah worked in partnership with the RCGP Clinical Innovation and Research Centre (CIRC) and the UK Vision Strategy to deliver the programme. 

Impact of the Eye Health Clinical Priority [PDF]

RCGP and UK Vision Strategy Eye Health Regional Workshops

As part of the RCGP Clinical Innovation and Research Centre’s (CIRC) efforts to engage with GPs across the UK, the Clinical Priorities Team is worked with RCGP Faculties to hold a 20+ series of interactive workshops and summits across the devolved nations. All events in the series were free to attend and contributed towards CPD. The purpose of these events was to improve GPs’ and practice staff's knowledge in identifying eye conditions earlier amongst older people and to improve support provided to patients with sight loss. Click on the links below for more information:

Sight Loss in Older People - A Guide for GPs

This RCGP-accredited guide highlights the need and route for early and appropriate routes of referral, the link between sight loss and other health conditions, and suggests how services provided by general practice can be made more accessible for older people with sight loss. The text has been written in consultation with GPs, and includes an executive summary of the main learning points that are covered in each chapter.

For free print copies of the guide, please email ukvisionstrategy@rnib.org.uk

Useful resources

Easy Read information on eye care

There is an increasing need for health providers to offer information in accessible formats and GPs may be interested in SeeAbility's Easy Read information on eye care. This includes information on sight conditions (such as cataracts) and eye operations, as well as sight tests and wearing glasses.

Join the GP Eye Health Network

This free network is part of the work being undertaken for the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) Clinical Priority for eye health. It aims to bring together GPs from across the UK to raise the profile of eye health within general practice and improve the quality of care for patients with sight loss.
 
It is the first network of its kind and currently has over 400 members from across the UK. As a member of the network you will receive:
 
- Regular email bulletins
- Useful resources
- Invites to training and networking events
 
If you would like to join the Network, please email circ@rcgp.org.uk  

Find out more about the network.

Eye health clinical fact sheets

Each of the below eye health clinical fact sheets focuses on a specific eye condition. The fact sheets have been developed by leading ophthalmologist Dr Gilli Vafidis, and then peer reviewed by RCGP clinical champion, Dr Waqaar Shah, as well as experts from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Professional Standards Council, the College of Optometrists, the Optical Confederation and the British and Irish Orthoptic Society.

Training events and workshops

For further information about the work of the RCGP clinical priority programme please visit the UK Vision Strategy website.

You can find out about upcoming training events and workshops on eye health and ophthalmology for GPs here.

Find courses & events

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