Costs of Delayed Appointment for Glaucoma Review

Delay in glaucoma assessment and appropriate treatment can lead to severe visual loss and can be very costly.

In a recent case, a young mother developed bilateral severe visual loss due to delay in getting timely follow up appointments and lack of adequate treatment of her severe glaucoma. The case was settled for £3.2 million.

Glaucoma patient who went blind receives £3.2m compensation

This “reference” case as well as previous evidence of delays arranging timely follow up of glaucoma patients leading to severe visual loss led to an investigation by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB). This investigations has highlighted many factors contributing to this problem and has made seven safety recommendations. The report summary and can be accessed by clicking the link below

Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch Report (HSIB) summary report

Lack of capacity for patients with chronic ophthalmic disease has been an issue in the NHS for many years. Below is a link to a “Rapid Response Report” from the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) from 2009 which details numerous patients who developed progressive and severe visual loss from glaucoma due to delayed follow up and treatment.

National Patient Safety Agency Rapid Response Report 2009

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) conducted a study in collaboration with the British Ophthalmic Surveillance Unit (BOSU) which was published in the Journal “Eye” in 2017. This study showed that up to 22 patients a month could be losing significant vision due to delay in their appointment initiated by the health service due to lack of capacity.

The study concluded that

“Patients are suffering preventable harm due to health service initiated delay leading to permanently reduced vision. This is occurring in patients of all ages, but most consistently in those with chronic conditions. Delayed follow-up or review is the cause in the majority of cases indicating a lack of capacity within the hospital eye service.”

Links to the study can be found here and here

It is possible to have regular and timely assessment of your glaucoma and other ophthalmic problems by arranging an appointment with Mr Mohamed. This case study shows the benefits of such a course of action.

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