Log In
Monday 24th October 2016

Cataract surgery cuts

16th July 2012

NHS trusts have placed "harsh restrictions" on cataract surgery which could affect many elderly patients, the Daily Mail reports.


The paper said the amount of cataract surgeries being carried out by the NHS had fallen by more than 25% in some regions of the country.

Research published by the Royal National Institute of Blind People showed more than 50% of health service trusts had put in force their own conditions for the surgery which were more severe than national guidelines.

Labour's health spokesman Andy Burnham, who is due to raise the figures in the House of Commons, said the restrictions on cataract operations were a "false economy".

A freedom of information request by the RNIB discovered that the amount of cataract operations was 350,602 in 2010 but this figure fell to 338,565 in 2011. 

The number of cataract procedures performed in Worcestershire stood at 3,188 in 2011 but there were 4,388 in 2010 (a drop of 27%).

Operations carried out in Nottingham City fell by a quarter to 1,287, and Brighton and Hove showed a similar decrease of 24% to 1,566.

The FOI requests showed 57% of PCTs said they "had set their own criteria for access to cataract surgery" which included more conditions than those set by the DH.

Steve Winyard, head of policy at the RNIB, said: "We are desperately concerned about what is happening. These new figures show for the first time what we thought was happening, which is that the numbers of operations being carried out is falling."

"Clearly, we would expect to see  a gradual rise, given the ageing population. But a lot of PCTs are putting in place restrictive policies. It’s elective surgery, so they just tell opthamologists they can’t carry out as many operations."

"People’s sight then has to fall an awfully long way before they qualify. It’s short-termism of the worst kind."


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Article Information

Title: Cataract surgery cuts
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 22346
Date Added: 16th Jul 2012


Recent Related Articles

Funding cuts could see some pharmacies closed

Frail at risk from district nurses cuts

Use of heart surgery research questioned


Add to scrapbook
Show Comments
Add comment
Find all related articles


Mayden - Innovative cloud-based applications for healthcare
© Mayden Foundation 2016