Pre COVID-19, patients already faced long waiting lists in many parts of the country for NHS services including eye treatments. These waiting times have soared since the pandemic with patients now being forced to wait years in some areas for treatment. The extent of the issue has not yet been fully uncovered with the peak in demand yet to be reached. So, for patients currently suffering with cataracts and seeking treatment via the NHS, what is the best course of action?
What treatment options are available for cataracts?
Surgery is the only real solution to remove cataracts and restore vision, and for that reason it is one of the most common operations performed in the UK. Cataract surgery is a simple procedure that replaces the cloudy natural lens of the eye causing the impaired vision and replaces it with a brand new synthetic lens, restoring vision to a clearer and brighter state.
Where can I get cataract treatment?
Many patients are actually unaware that they have the option to choose where they would like to go for their cataract surgery. For patients who have been diagnosed with cataracts, your optometrist or GP will be able to make a recommendation on the course of treatment required and can then make a referral to a cataract surgery service provider on your behalf. This can drastically reduce the length of time many patients are required to wait for treatment depending on each individual provider’s availability.
At ACES we aim to offer patients in East Anglia cataract treatment in as little as 4 weeks from their initial appointment, meaning our patients can get back to enjoying life with restored vision quickly. We focus on providing timely care of the highest standards in a community setting that is not only accessible for patients, but means that they can receive treatment without actually requiring hospital admission.
The impact of cataracts on patient’s health and wellbeing
The impaired vision that cataracts cause can have a seriously harmful impact on a patient’s quality of life, affecting their ability to perform everyday tasks like driving and reading, with many patients finding themselves losing mobility and independence. Not only that, but this loss of vison can also leave patients at a higher risk of suffering a serious trip or fall, often resulting in life threatening injuries that require hospital attention. Timely care for patients suffering with cataract surgery is so important to allow patients to get back to living their live to the fullest again.
What are the next steps?
If you or someone you know are suffering with cataracts, our advice is to speak to your optometrist or GP about the treatment providers available in your area, and what their current waiting lists are for treatment. All patients have the legal right to choose where they have their NHS treatment, so it’s important that you make an informed choice.
For patients referred to ACES for cataract treatment, they will then be given the option to select an appointment time at an ACES clinic that is most suitable and convenient for them. At ACES Patients can expect a much shorter wait for cataract surgery than at most traditional NHS hospitals. Find out more about getting referred to ACES for treatment here: