Appropriateness of Referrals to Cannock Chase Hospital (23/08/2018)
APPROPRIATENESS OF REFERRALS TO CANNOCK CHASE HOSPITAL
Mel Riley, Group Manager Ophthalmology for RWHT, contacted Staffordshire LOC yesterday to advise that a number of referrals have been sent into Cannock Chase Hospital Eye Department recently which were found not to be suitable for assessment and/or management there. These include neuro-ophthalmological conditions, and minor op's such as eyelid procedures (e.g. ectropion surgery). Furthermore, Cannock Chase Hospital doesn't have an OCT yet, so any vitreo-macular conditions (e.g. VMT, ERM) shouldn't be sent there either. All of the aforementioned should be sent to New Cross Hospital instead.
The main conditions that can be seen at Cannock Chase Hospital are "routine general" cases, such as suspected glaucoma and ocular surface disease. It is important to note that this guidance applies equally to MECS and non-MECS referrals.
I'm sure that it goes without saying that urgent conditions (including wet AMD) should always be sent to New Cross Hospital, as Cannock Chase Hospital only has consultant ophthalmologists one day a week.
Staffordshire LOC will work with RWHT towards the drawing up of a more definitive set of guidelines, but I would be grateful if you could work on this basis for now. I understand that Cannock Chase Hospital will have an OCT by the end of the year, and hopefully minor op procedures will become a possibility before long as well. As soon as either of these developments arises, we will let you know.
Thank you for your attention and cooperation.