Ophthalmology in the North of England


Number of appointments

Number of patients operated on

96.98 %

Pleased with initiative

Pleased with initiative

96.80 %

Happy with care

Happy with Care


An ambitious trust with the objective being to deliver outstanding hospital and health services to half a million people. Established on 1st October 2019, the Trust is creating a centre of excellence in providing rural and remote healthcare and provides a wide range of community and acute services throughout the North West and beyond. The trust are responsible for delivering over 70 services across 15 main locations and employ more than 6,500 members of staff. Following the pandemic and ever growing demand, the Trust found itself with an ever- increasing waiting list of Ophthalmology patients, in particular cataracts, Oculoplastics and general ophthalmology; caused by excessive demand, capacity shortfalls, all exacerbated by the impact of COVID on elective care.
The trust recognised a need to look for an organisation which could implement cost-effective insourcing solutions and offer a high level of patient care all while eliminating long waiting lists and aiming to get the Ophthalmology Department back on track, at pace. They chose to partner with The Surgical Consortium (TSC) which offered a wraparound, insourcing service with exceptional quality, expertise, reputation and the ability to offer bespoke, agile solutions. In January 2023, TSC were tasked by the department to assist with
the backlog of long waiters across the subspecialties.


The Ophthalmology department tasked TSC with helping to reduce the long waiting cataracts and urgent oculoplastic patients utilising high volume theatre lists to help patients that could not be accommodated in the week. Similarly, TSC provided solutions for a wide range of other ophthalmology subspecialties; working with outpatients across general, vitreoretinal, glaucoma and oculoplastics and also providing theatre teams for Oculoplastics and DCR work.


TSC implemented technology, refined pathways and lean processes where possible to allow for high volume theatre lists. TSC are well versed in high volume cataract lists and utilising all of our expertise and learnings our surgeons were able to operate on over 500 cataract patients. TSC use well recognised high volume surgeons and bespoke cataract team all well versed in these theatre lists to achieve high volume without compromising on quality.

TSC were able to regularly provide surgeons with in-demand skillsets including oculoplastics and DCR work in order to assist on the waiting lists for these subspecialties.
Alongside theatres, parallel clinics on super weekends meant we could work with the trust where they need outpatient capacity most. Providing clinicians as well as specialty trained clinic nurses meant TSC provided additional capacity of 518 patients across 9 clinic days.


The success of the project was attributed to a number of key factors:

  • Dedicated Clinical Lead for Ophthalmology Surgery and a dedicated high volume surgeon on the day.

  • This is complemented by fellow senior surgeons, senior scrub nurses used to working across high volume lists.

  • Lean, high volume parallel theatre lists resulting in 602 patients being operated on over the course of the project

  • Technology assisted, patient led approach to bookings to reduce DNA rate and improve the experience for patients.

  • Remote patient reviewing capabilities allowed surgeons to blend their theatre lists and maximise operating time on the day.