Austerity is blinding UK patients

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blind-person-with-cane Patients are losing their sight because NHS eye clinics are “shamefully” understaffed and lack the capacity to meet increasing patient needs, according to the RNIB.

A survey conducted by the Royal National Institute of Blind People found that 37% of ophthalmic professionals in England had seen patients lose their sight due to lack of capacity in clinics.

Over 80% said their eye department was “too busy” to cope with the number of patients needing treatment.

Respondents described the eye clinics they worked in as “chaotic” and “running from one crisis to another,” and placed the blame on hospital managers who refused to take action when clinics’ strategies failed.

An NHS England spokesperson commented: “We agree with the RNIB that more resources are needed.”

More forcefully, Lesley-Anne Alexander, Chief Executive of RNIB, said: “These shocking results should act as a wake-up call to the Government, NHS England, commissioners and hospital trusts alike.”

According to NHS England, Clinical Commissioning Groups are working with other local organisations to ensure that the needs of eye disease patients are met.