The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued draft quality standards for three serious eye disorders that are open for consultation between September 10 and October 8.

The quality standards for cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) reflect recommendations made following the publication of clinical guidelines issued earlier on the three conditions.

The draft is designed for commissioners, service providers, health, public health and social care practitioners and the public but provides specific information for primary eye care practitioners.

The draft outlines how diagnosis should be made and the discussion that should take place with the patient and their carers. It goes on to describe the factors that should be considered when referring a patient, the tests that should be performed and the results that should be sent to the secondary sector when the patient is referred.

The draft on cataract says access to surgery should not be restricted to visual acuity alone while patients with late active wet AMD should be offered OCT.

On the topic of AMD pathways the quality standard recommends that commissioners and providers should agree a clear local pathway covering referral from primary to secondary care, with direct referral preferred and then discharge back into the primary sector where necessary.