Lancaster MP Cat Smith urges eye clinics not to cancel constituents’ appointments

Cat Smith MP with Sally Harvey, RNIB's acting chief executive, at a parliamentary meeting about delayed and missed follow up appointments in eye clinics.
Cat Smith MP with Sally Harvey, RNIB's acting chief executive, at a parliamentary meeting about delayed and missed follow up appointments in eye clinics.

Lancaster MP Cat Smith attended RNIB’s (Royal National Institute of Blind People) parliamentary reception to find out if time is running out for her constituents with conditions that can lead to sight loss.

Eye clinics that cancel appointments put their patients at risk of irreversible sight loss because many treatments for sight-threatening conditions require frequent follow-up appointments.

RNIB is campaigning for patients to be seen by eye clinics in the time advised by their consultant, and for patients to keep their appointments.

Ms Smith said: “I support RNIB’s campaign to make sure people are given timely eye clinic appointments. I will work with RNIB to ensure people in Lancaster and Fleetwood receive their treatment on time.”

“I was shocked to learn that in the Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group area there were 2,396 appointments cancelled by the hospital – 5.77 per cent of all appointments.”

Sally Harvey, RNIB’s acting chief executive, said: “Patients must be seen by their eye clinic within an appropriate time for their condition. No-one should lose their sight needlessly because their eye clinic was too busy to treat them on time.

Patients can also help themselves by attending their eye clinic appointment and not miss or cancel them. Doing so puts their sight at risk, prevents other patients being given timely appointments, and costs the NHS money.”