Urgent action required to ensure sight-saving injections continue

Posted: Friday 03 April 2020

We have written to health ministers and NHS chiefs in the UK to ensure sight-saving injections continue to be a priority during the coronavirus crisis.

Currently, while all routine appointments in eye clinics have been postponed, injections for wet AMD, and other conditions which would cause severe visual loss if not treated, are still going ahead.

However, the Macular Society is concerned that if the Government fails to take action to ensure eye clinics continue to operate, many could be forced to shut, leaving patients with irreversible visual impairment.

The Society has written to UK health secretary Matt Hancock, along with his Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish counterparts and NHS chief executives to ensure enough ophthalmology clinical staff are left in eye units to treat patients who need sight-saving treatment, and not redeployed to deal with the coronavirus.

Cathy Yelf, chief executive of the Macular Society says: “This is not routine treatment, it is urgent. There are tens of thousands of people living with macular degeneration, including many elderly, whose sight is in grave danger in this crisis. We at the Macular Society have a duty to ensure these vulnerable patients are protected and make sure that this vital treatment is still carried out.”

The Society has also asked the Government to instruct NHS transport services to include wet AMD patients alongside oncology and dialysis patients so they can attend their appointments safely.