Do you suffer with or care for people with Cataracts or Age-Related macular Degeneration?
The Royal National Institute of Blind People is looking for patients and carers to take part in two research projects that will identify what needs to be done to improve access to sight-saving treatments.
Arbitrary restrictions to cataract surgery and poor care of those with wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD) are forcing thousands of people to live with serious and unnecessary sight loss.
Cataracts and wet AMD are two of the leading causes of avoidable sight loss in the UK and are set to increase.
Clara Eaglen, RNIB Eye Health Policy and Campaigns Manager, said:
“The aim of the research is to examine the impact of restrictions on access to treatments and talk to eye health specialists about how services are delivered.
“But most importantly, the research will ask patients about the impact that these conditions – and waiting for their treatment – has on their quality of life. We want to hear from people who have had good or bad experiences of NHS treatment and care.”
RNIB is looking for 100 people with wet Age-related Macular Degeneration and 100 carers of people with wet AMD for the first study. The charity needs an additional 100 people with cataracts for the second study.
Men and women interested in taking part in the research must have been diagnosed and treated for either condition within the last 3 years. This can include people who are still undergoing treatment or have completed it.
The researchers will interview participants over the phone and interviews will be confidential.
The reports will be published in Spring 2013 and will be essential information to allow RNIB to campaign for PCTs to change their polices and improve access to effective treatments.
Clara Eaglen continued:
“As part of RNIB’s Save our Sight (SOS) campaign, we are fighting for the rights of people with sight loss and for better access to sight saving treatments on the NHS.
“The research will help us increase the public profile of the issues in the treatment of these conditions, increase political pressure on PCTs to remove cataract restrictions and improve the treatment outcomes and service delivery for wAMD patients.”
If you fit the criteria and would like to get involved in this important research you can contact RNIB’s campaigns team on 020 7391 2123 or at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 14 December 2012.
Photo: Chris Panteli