Whilst the news headlines in the UK are about how Covid is causing increasing waitng lists for major surgery / treatment such as cancer there has also been an effect on the capapcity of NHS Eye Units and because eyesight is not seen as a life or death situation there tends to be limited coverage of the se]ituation.
Last year I had an Eyelea injection just before the first lock down and heard nothing in the way of my next appointment which I did nothing about initially as due to my wife having COPD we were shielding and therefore would have worried about venturing out anyway.
With the ending of the first lockdown I enquied via the PALS team as to the situation on Eye Unit appointments and mentioned that I had experienced some deterioration in my eyesight and I was offered an appointment and the Doctor who I have seen many times before arrranged an appointment for the Injection Clinic for an Eyelea injection in my left eye. When I got to the Injection Clinic the Doctor running it that day decided tht as I aleady have a cateract in my left eye it would be better to do an Ozurdex implant which was in October last year.
I then heard nothing about a follow up appointment which initially I was not surprised by as Iknow that the implant is meant to release over a 6 month period but as my eyesight had deteriorated again to the point where I have stopped driving I phoned up the Eye Unit Appointments office and was told that I was down for a 3 month review but had not yet reached the top of the list to get an appointment.
I know it is not as dramatic as a delay on getting something like cancer treatment but I do fear that the prospect of recovering sight to where it was diminishes the longer it waits,
Unlike some areas of treatment the problem is more about the processes to guard against the spread of Covid that is causing the reduced capacity rather than medical staff being utilised in the care of Covid patients but I am primarily wondering whether the impact on Eye Unit appointments is similar around the UK and how will they catch up.
For myself I am left wondering whether the implant did not prove successful for me or if the cateract has worsened or a balance between the two factors.