Eye Health

Eye health, with a focus on ageing and sight loss, is a UK-wide RCGP clinical priority for April 2013 to March 2016. Clinical leadership for this programme is provided by Dr Waqaar Shah, RCGP clinical champion for eye health. A GP network on eye health has been set up to help the clinical champion to further develop and deliver the programme, as well as supporting the dissemination of key messages. For more information and to join the GP network, please contact circ@rcgp.org.uk.

The programme aims to enable GPs to:

  • Prevent avoidable sight loss amongst their older patients and associated conditions such as falls, fractures and depression
  • Refer into eye care services patients with signs of 'correctable' sight loss (e.g. refractive error, cataracts etc) to maintain and improve their quality of life
  • Ensure patients with permanent sight loss maintain their independence for longer by helping them to access rehabilitation, low vision and other support services

Evaluating the impact of the programme

The RCGP and the UK Vision Strategy are keen to evaluate the impact of the RCGP clinical priority programme on eye health. A series of surveys will be conducted at the beginning and end of the three-year programme. The results will help to assess the reach of key messages as well as the uptake and impact of tools and resources. Each survey will be open to GPs, practice nurses and practice managers to complete.


Factsheet series:

A series of practical factsheets to enable GPs to ensure they are aware of latest guidance on some of the major eye conditions. These factsheets have been developed by the RCGP Clinical Innovation and Research Centre (CIRC) and UK Vision Strategy Programme Team and will be published at regular intervals between April 2013 and March 2016. Current titles are available here.


RCGP e-Learning

The RCGP continues to develop and roll-out a range of eLearning resources.

Resource and training module on ophthalmology - East of Scotland Deanery Ophthalmology

Prevention and treatment of sight loss


GP eye health network

If you are a GP, or work with GPs, you can get involved by joining the free GP eye health network, which aims to improve the quality of care for patients with sight loss.

This network supports GPs to:

  • Access and share examples of best practice
  • Share innovative ways of managing patients with sight loss
  • Collaborate with fellow healthcare practitioners at UK, national and regional levels
  • Build local relationships and communication channels with colleagues from primary, community and specialist care.

By joining the network, you will also have the opportunity to become a local clinical champion for eye health.

To join the free network, please email circ@rcgp.org.uk.

RCGP stakeholder group on eye health

A number of key decision-makers and opinion-formers work with the RCGP to deliver the core aims of the RCGP clinical priority programme on eye health.


Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) - Federation of Dispensing Opticians (FODO) 2010

Clinical Management Guidelines on diagnosis and management of 56 eye conditions - College of Optometrists (RCO) 2014


UK Vision Strategy

The UK Vision Strategy is the key partner organisation for the RCGP clinical priority programme on eye health.


Sight Loss in Older People - A Guide for GPs [PDF]

Sight loss is an increasing health concern in the UK. With an ageing population, the number of people with eye conditions is projected to rapidly increase over the coming years. This guide is an ideal learning tool to help general practice teams increase their knowledge and awareness of the particular sigh issues facing older people. It includes helpful hints, tips and advice on making general practices more accessible to all people with sight loss.

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