The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has been commissioned by HQIP to run the first National Ophthalmology Audit following a competitive tender in 2013. The project officially started on 1st September 2014 and consist a national cataract audit (England and Wales), feasibility studies for glaucoma, retinal detachment and age-related macular degeneration.

The purpose of the audit is to update benchmarks for standards of care for cataract surgery and will help to drive improvements in quality by identifying variations in access to, and outcomes of, cataract surgery.

The project will build on the existing National Ophthalmology Database work but will be extended to cover all providers of NHS funded cataract surgery in England and Wales. Where providers have an existing electronic medical record (EMR) system, data will be extracted from the system. For organisations with paper based records, the project will need to provide an alternative mechanism for data submission. The College has agreed with Medisoft that their cataract Electronic Medical Record system will be provided to trusts for the duration of the audit, including a web based data collection tool which will allow for post-operative data to be entered by optometrists.

A Multi-Professional Steering Group has been set up to oversee the audit. Membership includes specialist representation in the relevant ophthalmological specialty areas, optometrists, lay representation, patient representative organisations, an independent methodologist and a representative from Wales.