MP urges PCTs about the need for rapid Referral pathway for wet age-related macular degeneration
In a letter to the Chairs of PCTs Ann Keen, an Under Secretary of State for Health, highlights the importance of those suspected of suffering from wet AMD of being referred quickly in Secondary Care.
NICE estimate that there are about 26,000 new cases of wet AMD each year contributing to a total of 50% of all registered blind in the UK. The letter points out that detection techniques have improved as well as treatment and control but early referral is essential. In the Royal College of Ophthalmologists guidelines (2009 “Age Related Macular Degeneration- Guidelines for management) they state that “treatment must be taken without delay and preferably within 2 weeks of initial development of symptoms or detection of a treatable lesion.”
In a specific reference to Direct Referral by Optometrists to Ophthalmologists allowed since 2005 and now part of the GOS contracts regs, Ms. Keen urges PCTs and local commissioners to create local pathways for this condition.
Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD or AMD)