The GIRFT national report on ophthalmology has now been published.

Click here to read the report online

Click here to read our announcement


Click here to watch a short video about the report (click to view full screen)

In March 2020, GIRFT held an event at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists to showcase the publication of the national report. You can see a short video with highlights from the event by clicking here.

You can contact the project manager for this workstream at [email protected]


GIRFT has worked in partnership with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists on several guidance documents in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some useful resources are listed below and others can be found in the GIRFT Academy Best Practice Library.

High flow cataract surgery (January 2022): guidance on extending the principles of high flow cataract surgery from low complexity cases only to mixed lists (routine and complex) and complex-only lists.

Cataract hubs and high flow cataract lists (March 2021): joint guidance on setting up cataract hubs, based on work in London to establish high volume low complexity (HVLC)/high flow low complexity (HFLC) sites, led by GIRFT with the regional NHSE/I team.

Restarting and redesigning of cataract pathways in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (August 2020): generic guidance on restarting cataract services to address the backlog and provide patients with a timely service.

Clinical lead, Alison Davis

Consultant paediatric ophthalmologist and chief medical officer at Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Alison’s background is as a consultant paediatric ophthalmologist. She is chief medical officer at Medway NHS Foundation Trust.

She started her clinical career as a paediatric ophthalmologist and has worked as a consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital, St George’s University Hospital in Tooting, Croydon University Hospital and as an honorary consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

More recently she was deputy medical director at Moorfields and hospital medical director at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

She was the chair of the Specialised Ophthalmology and Ear Surgery Clinical Reference Group (CRG) for six years (2013-2019) and the NHS England National Clinical Adviser for ophthalmology from 2017-2019.

As well as being the joint clinical lead for ophthalmology, she was a GIRFT clinical ambassador for all specialties across London from 2019-2020.

Clinical lead, Lydia Chang

Consultant ophthalmologist at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Lydia was appointed a consultant ophthalmologist at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in 2008. She simultaneously served as an honorary consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital (from 2008 to 2016), setting up the glaucoma service at Moorfields at Bedford Hospital. In 2020, she relocated and was appointed as a substantive consultant at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.

Her subspecialty interest is glaucoma, having completed an MD thesis evaluating the role of inflammation in glaucoma surgery, based at the Institute of Ophthalmology and the Royal Free Hospital.

Lydia was the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ representative on the working group set up by the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning, assisting in the publication of the Community Ophthalmology and Primary Eye Care for First Contact Care Frameworks in 2015 and 2016.

Clinical lead, Jonathan (Jon) Bhargava

Consultant ophthalmic and oculoplastic surgeon at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Jon is a consultant ophthalmic and oculoplastic surgeon at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He has been a consultant ophthalmologist since 2008, and specialises in safe and efficient cataract surgery. He was the chair of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ (RCOphth) Cataract Workforce Guidance Committee when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and was heavily involved with designing COVID-safe pathways which were endorsed by RCOphth to enable a return to operating during the pandemic.

As chair, he also provided streamlined clinical pathways for cataract surgery and enabled workforce planning for the next 10 years to help meet increasing surgical demand.

Report author and former clinical lead, Professor Dame Caroline MacEwen

Consultant ophthalmologist, acting Chair of the General Medical Council (GMC)

Caroline (Carrie) is the past Chair of the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges and a consultant ophthalmologist at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. An Honorary Chair as head of the department of ophthalmology at the University of Dundee, Carrie is ophthalmology specialty adviser to the Scottish government, and leads the national ophthalmology workstream.

She is also an associate post-graduate Dean in the East of Scotland for less than full time medical post-graduate training and career management, and has also chaired the Scottish update of Certification of Vision Impairment. Carrie was made an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine in 2012, and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 2015. She has published more than 150 papers and written and contributed to textbooks for both undergraduate students and qualified doctors. Carrie is a former president of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

In June 2021 she was awarded a damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to ophthalmology and leadership during the COVID-19 crisis. Carrie left the GIRFT programme in August 2021 to become acting Chair of the General Medical Council (GMC).