• Date awarded: April 2021
  • Awarded value: £39,375
  • Fund: General Ophthalmic/Eye Unit education and training
  • Location: Queen Margaret Hospital Cataract Unit

The Ophthalmology service in Fife is often highlighted nationally for its innovations in eye care and cataract surgery. The team are keen to build on this success, attract the best talent, and cement NHS Fife as a centre of excellence. A dedicated, high-specialty training centre is proposed for the cataract unit at Queen Margaret Hospital.

Training in ophthalmology is a requirement for a wide range of medical, nursing optometry and orthoptic specialities, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Latest ophthalmology training guidelines require 10 hours of training on a surgical simulator per year which trainees receive by travelling outwith Fife. However, there is evidence that access to more regular and intensive simulation training dramatically reduces complications rates, and therefore is associated with improved patient outcomes.

Training in eye healthcare – whether for medical, nursing or allied health professionals – requires developing proficiency in ophthalmology skills. This includes identification and management of primary ocular pathology such as foreign bodies and glaucoma, and also the ability to elicit and monitor signs of systemic disease progression such as hypertension, diabetes etc. It is traditionally very difficult to teach these skills in a patient setting, but this becomes much easier when signs can be beamed in real time to large screens where pathology can be pointed out much more easily. Similarly nursing training in specialities such as A+E and ophthalmology would benefit from such improved ability to deliver specialist teaching.

With this Training Centre, QMH will capitalise on NHS Fife’s reputation at the forefront of innovation and good practice in eye care.