A proposed redesign of elective cataract services in Scotland – pilot project

Niku Dhillon* (Corresponding Author), Dina Ghazal, Jane Harcourt, Manjula Kumarasamy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


The demand for cataract surgery is expected to increase by 25% in the next 10 years as the result of our ageing population. A new pathway is being proposed to improve efficiency by utilising the new General Ophthalmic Services code 2.9 for community optometrists in Scotland for Cataract Referral Refinement and Consenting process. A pilot project has been undertaken at NHS Grampian enabling patients to be assessed and undergo surgery at a single visit to the Eye Outpatient Department.

To determine the suitability of community cataract referrals for a one stop cataract surgery service and target areas for referral refinement.

300 consecutive cataract referrals were assessed for suitability for one stop cataract surgery, determined by the documentation of pertinent clinical findings. All suitable referrals were offered a telephone consultation to confirm suitability and those patients were subsequently offered on the day cataract surgery. A telephone led patient satisfaction survey was then completed.

71 (24%) suitable patients were identified from vetting 300 referrals. 54 patients from this group were selected for one-stop service following telephone consultation. 51 patients subsequently attended for surgery. There was a 100% conversion rate to same day surgery and no intraoperative complications reported.

The waiting time was significantly reduced, by 30 weeks, for one-stop patients. Approximately one quarter of referrals were deemed suitable for a one-stop service. Many more patients may have been suitable for same day surgery but there was not sufficient information in their referrals to determine their suitability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2116–2121
Number of pages6
Early online date22 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Open Access via the Springer Compact Agreement

Data Availability Statement

Supplementary information The online version contains supplementary material available at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-021-01810-9.


  • Lens diseases
  • Public health


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