- Direct referral schemes have been developed to reduce appointments and timing by allowing direct referral to hospital when a patient is considered as meriting treatment.
- Cataracts may be assessed on a score-based system before referral is considered. A questionnaire is essential in this pre-referral assessment and includes factors other than high-contrast acuity such as impact on life.
- Revised NICE guidelines support referral based on factors other than acuity alone.
- Accredited optometrists are able to carry out post-operative monitoring of cataract patients.
- NHS and private referral pathway details are readily available outlining the steps for referral, and knowing these is important to ensure a patient is aware of the options available for their cataract treatment.
- Most private providers offer information to optometrists about the referral process to their centres.