Emma highlights lack of access to cataract surgery

July 22, 2013

130718 RNIB CataractsEmma attended the launch of a report by the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) highlighting the wide variations in access to cataract surgery across the UK.

The alarming report shows that over half of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) restrict access to this proven and cost-effective surgery. This rationing is intended to cut costs, but actually increases the bill to the NHS by putting patients at risk of depression, social isolation and prone to falls and other accidents.

Fortunately for constituents in Shields, NHS South Tyneside (CCG) does not ration out cataract surgery, and both operation rates and second eye surgery return rates are above the national average.130718 RNIB Cataracts blur

Emma said:

“I was shocked to hear that many patients are being denied life-changing surgery because of pressure to cut costs. But it was also reassuring to learn that here in Shields cataract surgery is available to all those who need it, and I congratulate NHS South Tyneside on recognising that this preventative approach can benefit both patients and our health service in the long run.”

To show the difference this surgery can make, compare the first image in this article with the second – the second image is what a person with cataracts might see.

Latest News