West Sussex eye operation delays slammed

DELAYS over carrying out cataract removal operations are causing problems for some older people in West Sussex, county health watchdogs were warned.

The issue was raised at a meeting of the county’s health overview and scrutiny committee.

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Members were considering a Primary Care Trust briefing note on cataract surgery which said the trust would pay for it where the patient had visual acuity below a level at which day-to-day activities and independence would be compromised for most people.

A report by the committee’s business planning group said members felt there were quality of life issues relating to cataract extraction which should be taken into account, particularly the potential for falls where people had only had surgery on one eye.

Cllr Margaret Whitehead said operations still seemed to be being done later than they should be. She knew of one case where a man had sight in one eye below the legal limit for driving, and in the other just on the limit, and an operation was being refused.