Representing people with glaucoma
The IGA represents the views of people with glaucoma across a wide range of clinical and professional groups. It is our intention to ensure that people with glaucoma receive the best possible care, whether in the community or in a hospital setting. We also take on board the concerns of our members and lobby for improvements to services.
UK Ophthalmology Alliance
The IGA is a member of the UK Ophthalmology Alliance (UKOA). This is a membership group of UK NHS ophthalmology providers and stakeholders. Its aim is to ensure that wherever patients are being treated, they get the best possible quality of care. Our first project with the UKOA is the development of glaucoma patient standards. This sets out the pathways for the best quality standards for patients, right from initial diagnosis. Future projects include a research project demonstrating the impact of patient education for glaucoma. The IGA’s role within the UKOA is to promote the voice of the patient.
NICE Glaucoma Guidelines
The IGA continues to monitor and encourage the implementation of the NICE Glaucoma Guideline (CG85) and the subsequent NICE Quality Standards for Glaucoma. We recently surveyed our members to assess whether the NICE guidance is being followed, and are now using this data to educate professionals about discussing eye drop treatment and techniques with patients, and encouraging professionals to talk openly to patients about when their glaucoma should be reported to the DVLA.
Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) for glaucoma.
The IGA has been involved in developing a national clinical guideline for glaucoma for Scotland. The guideline provides recommendations for best practice in the primary care assessment and referral of patients with suspected glaucoma from the community into secondary eye-care services, and the safe discharge of patients from secondary eye-care services back in to the community.
The IGA joins other leading organisations from across eye health to form the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning, with the aim of responding to the governement's NHS reforms for a clinicallly-led, patient focused NHS. The aim of the Council is to offer united, evidence-based clinical advice and guidance to those commissioning and delivering eye health services in England on issues where national leadership is needed. The Council plans to work in partnership with NHS England, to support the development of services to meet local needs and improve outcomes based on best evidence and in the most patient sensitive and cost-effective ways.
In April 2018 the CCEHC published a Systems and Assurance Frameworkfor Eye-health (SAFE) for glaucoma.
In July 2016, the CCEHC published the Primary Eye Care Framework and the Community Ophthalmology Framework, which aim to improve capactity issues in ophthalmology.
The IGA represents the views of people with glaucoma and has contributed to the Sight Loss guide that is now available to GPs.
The College maintains standards in the practice of ophthalmology, including developing and providing authoritative guidance on commissioning of eye services in the UK. The IGA has worked with a multi-disciplinary group working in the eye health sector, representing those involved in commissioning, delivering, supporting and receiving ophthalmic care, to develop a guideline for glaucoma.
Following a number of members contacting the IGA about specific queries and concerns that they had regarding driving regulations and glaucoma, we held a constructive meeting with senior officials at the DVLA. From this meeting we developed a specific Patient Information Leaflet, approved by the DVLA and continue to work with them regarding the quality standards in place for patient visual field testing, and the statistics related to those that pass/fail on carrying out DVLA tests.
The IGA is a member of a broad alliance of professional bodies, patient groups, European NGO's, disabled people's organisations, trade assocations representing suppliers and research groups. Its mission is to: raise the profile of vision and eye health, reduce preventable sight loss; promote the rights of people living with sight loss; profile the need for consistent data collection to support research into eye health and vision.
The IGA works together with other eye health organisations to help achieve the Vision 2020 objectives of: preventing avoidable blindness; improving the quality of services to vision impairmed people; improving the training available to professionals providing advice and services; improving communication between organisations within the visual impairment sector; improving the availablity of information to vision impaired people; ensuring that the voices of the vision impaired are heard when planning services and their opinions are sought; raising public awareness of the issues and problems relating to sight loss.