10 August 2018
Patients in Ayrshire are being refused cataract surgery on a second eye under new restrictions designed to cut waiting times.
Opticians are said to be frustrated over the move, which was described as a “false economy” by sight loss campaigners.
It is understood that the new rules have been implemented to ease pressure on ophthalmology, amid a shortage of surgeons and theatre space to cope with demand.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran was previously accused of rationing treatment when it introduced a strict threshold for cataracts surgery in 2017, meaning patients’ vision had to deteriorate below the legal standard for driving before they could be referred for surgery.
Now opticians are being told not to refer patients for the operation on a second eye if they still have adequate vision in the first.
Samantha Watson, chair of Optometry Scotland, said: “There is some frustration amongst our colleagues in Ayrshire and Arran about this change in policy.
Full story on the Herald Scotland Website