All routine appointments in eye clinics continue to be postponed.
However, injections for wet AMD, and other conditions which would cause severe visual loss if not treated, are still going ahead.
The priority is to maintain people’s vision as well as possible, while minimising the amount of contact patients have with other patients and with hospital staff.
How this is achieved may vary between hospitals. However, these are some of the measures you may expect to see.
- All patients will be maintained on 8 weekly anti-VEGF treatment with no clinic review unless they mention a significant drop in vision at their injection visit.
- Clinic appointment timings will be spread out as much as possible so that patients do not encounter lots of other people when they come to the clinic.
- Some areas are investigating the possibility of using other venues, such as independent (private) treatment centres, or GP surgeries, where there will be fewer people and which may be more local to people to help with transport problems.
- Eye doctors understand that many patients will be too worried to attend their appointments. Wherever possible, doctors will have telephone consultations with patients to discuss individual concerns and come to a joint decision on whether the patient wants to continue having injections.
- Patients who do not want to have injections for now will not be removed from the patient list and will be contacted when the crisis is over to discuss re-starting treatment.
- If a patient decides not to attend but then becomes worried about a deterioration in their vision, they can contact the eye clinic again for advice.
- For true emergencies A&E departments are still open.
Please note that this advice may change, especially if the NHS comes under even greater pressure because of the coronavirus outbreak. It is likely that eye clinic staff will be called on to help care for virus patients. We will update this page whenever new advice is given to make sure we have the most up to date information for patients.
You can call our Advice and Information Service Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0300 30 30 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org