WQ83580 (w) Tabled on 12/10/2021

What is the Government's plan to address the number of HRF1 eye patients who have gone over the target time for treatment / care?

Answered by Minister for Health and Social Services | Answered on 22/10/2021

Essential and urgent eye care appointments and treatments continued during the pandemic. People at risk of harm or irreversible sight loss continued to be seen for treatment and their condition was monitored, virtually. However the pandemic has had a significant impact on waiting times and health boards are prioritising people by clinical need as they restart routine activity. We have announced a recovery plan for health boards to help them tackle the backlog of planned operations, supported by nearly £250m extra funding.

Part of the investment involved a specific allocation to health boards to focus on eye care in line with the recovery plan for eye care services. This will help reduce the number of people waiting beyond their due date to be seen, focusing on glaucoma, wet AMD, cataracts, Independent Prescribing Optometry Services (IPOS) and a Hydroxychloroquine Screening Service. It will also support sustainable developments within the service.  

As services recover, I expect health boards to continue to increase activity and people who need treatment to be seen in a clinically appropriate time. Preventing sight loss is the key priority.