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Hundreds of patients go blind waiting for eye appointments as NHS backlog grows

More than 600,000 people are waiting for ophthalmology appointments in England alone

Tara Cobham
Monday 20 March 2023 23:25 GMT
Related: MP claims NHS abandoned sister over brain cancer treatment

Hundreds have lost their sight while waiting for an eye appointment, leading to stress, anxiety and fear among patients, as the NHS backlog continues to grow.

Clinicians have reported more than 200 cases of people going blind due to treatment delays since 2019, a Freedom of Information request to NHS England has revealed, with hundreds more unreported cases suspected.

Currently, 628,502 people are awaiting ophthalmology appointments in England alone, according to the latest figures from NHS England, with 27,260 of those having been waiting a year or more. This is the second largest NHS backlog, equating to one in every 11 patients on an NHS waiting list.

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