The GIRFT national report on ophthalmology has now been published.
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]
Joint Clinical Lead, Alison Davis
Consultant paediatric ophthalmologist and medical director for Kent and Canterbury Hospital, part of the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
Alison is a consultant paediatric ophthalmologist and the medical director for Kent and Canterbury Hospital. She is also a GIRFT clinical ambassador supporting all the medical and surgical GIRFT workstreams in the region.
She has previously served as the deputy medical director for Moorfields Hospital, divisional director for Moorfields South, clinical director for outpatient and diagnostic services at Moorfields City Road and paediatric service director for Moorfields. She was Chair of the Specialised Ophthalmology & Ear Surgery Clinical Reference Group (CRG) for six years and the National Clinical Adviser for ophthalmology.
Joint Clinical Lead, Professor Dame Caroline MacEwen
Consultant ophthalmologist, past Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
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.
Restarting and Redesigning of Cataract Pathways in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
The RCOphth and Getting it Right First Time have updated advice on resumption of cataract services – High flow cataract surgery needs to resume now to address the backlog and provide patients with a timely service. Failure to do so will compromise the quality of life for patients. Restoration of cataract services will require a detailed review/redesign of the whole cataract pathway to ensure a safe environment for patients and staff. This also gives the opportunity to make changes that will have long-term benefits. This document provides generic guidance on the restarting of cataract services. Individual eye departments should tailor this guidance, taking into account their staffing, infrastructure, the needs of their local population as well as the expectations of local commissioners and regional NHS organisations.
Five minutes with… Carrie MacEwen
Q: How did you first become interested in ophthalmology?
I had always wanted to be a surgeon and, at the same time, I was very attracted to medical specialties. Ophthalmology is ideal to be able to be both a surgeon, carrying out highly successful operations, and also to be involved in complex medical management of many challenging general conditions. There are not many diseases that do not affect the eye in some way.
Q: What excites you most about your specialty?
The life-changing surgery that restores vision to millions of people globally every year is a great stimulant. The opportunities afforded by research into the roles of new technology in our specialty are also very exciting – especially artificial intelligence and genomics. Ophthalmology has always been a progressive specialty and continues to innovate and develop in many exciting ways..
Q: What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Being elected president of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists provided the ideal opportunity to share innovations in the delivery of ophthalmic care widely in the UK using the College structures. Many ophthalmic departments have developed effective new ways of working, such as virtual clinics, better use of community ophthalmic care and high volume surgery – and the College’s ‘The Way Forward’ project collected and disseminated these successful models of care. I have been able to follow this up thorough GIRFT and the Elective Care Transformation Project ‘EyesWise’ work to help embed these ideas more effectively.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by a ‘can do’ attitude and by a strong collaborative approach to ensure the best results (especially for optimum patient care).
Q: How do you relax?
I enjoy being outdoors – cycling, walking (particularly in the Scottish hills) and gardening. Time with my family is very important and has become more precious as the children have grown up and moved away.
Clinical advisor, Lydia Chang
Consultant ophthalmologist at Hinchingbrooke Hospital
Lydia was appointed a consultant ophthalmologist (with a subspecialty interest in glaucoma) at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in 2008. She simultaneously served as an honorary consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital (from 2008 to 2016) where she set up the glaucoma service at Moorfields at Bedford Hospital.
Currently the ophthalmology clinical governance lead at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, she was also the lead investigator for a multi-national randomised controlled study to evaluate the efficacy of a micro invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device, the results of which have been published in peer reviewed journals.
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. She was also clinical governance lead at Moorfields Bedford from 2008 to 2016.
Lydia graduated from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London University and completed her post-graduate training in ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. She was awarded a Wellcome Trust research fellowship based at the Institute of Ophthalmology, London, and at the Department of Immunology, Royal Free Hospital, during which time she achieved an MD thesis evaluating the role of inflammation in glaucoma surgery.