Bill Harvey: Spare us the cutter
Author: Bill Harvey
At the risk of sounding as hopelessly optimistic as Eric Idle, one of the positives of this pandemic has been how eye care professionals have risen to challenges beyond what most were previously facing. Tales abound of people taking part in community support schemes and supporting the elderly, vulnerable or dispossessed. Many are volunteering to support the NHS Covid-19 response, whether as a track and tracer (now the workflow has kicked in), a vaccine guinea pig (yours truly – fingers crossed I will be back next week), or in extending the scope of eye care services via the well-received Cues/Mecs schemes, remote advice and direct clinical support.
Ours is all too often the forgotten allied health profession (well, in England at least), so it was most reassuring to read an article in the journal Eye recently.1 The editorial feature presents an analysis by members of the Clinical Council for Eye Health and Locsu of the roll out of Cues, confirming that ‘within just a few months Cues or a pre-existing Mecs service was available for the populations of 23% (31/135) and 50% (67/135) of Clinical commissioning Groups (CCGs) respectively.’ The authors identify that ‘as demonstrated by its uptake, Cues has met its service objectives, and through its service principles and service enablers it has been a catalyst for change.’ They conclude with a call for unity across England; shockingly, 20/135 CCGs still have no Mecs or Cues provision. The role of eye care professionals has been recognised.
I am keen to publish some of your experiences since lockdown. This week we run two articles of patient management in that time frame, one from an optom and the other a CLO. I hope you find them interesting. If you have any interesting Covid-era case studies, please get in touch.