'Fast-track' cataract services and diagnostic and treatment centre: impact on surgical training

Eye (Lond). 2008 Jan;22(1):55-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6702512. Epub 2006 Jul 14.


Aims: To evaluate the impact of 'Action on Cataracts' and the development of Diagnostic and Treatment Centre (DTC) on cataract surgery training in the Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospital's Trust.

Methods: We compared all cataract extractions undertaken from April to September 2005 with the same 6-month time period over the preceding 5 years. Surgery was performed on one of four types of lists: Manchester Royal Eye Hospital standard lists (MREH), Cataract Services list, Waiting List Initiative list (WLI), and Diagnostic and Treatment Centre list (DTC). Surgeons were identified by their specific codes and divided into grades.

Results: The total number of cataract operations undertaken on the standard MREH lists has declined significantly over the years (P<0.001 chi(2) test for trend). The number of cataract operations performed by both Specialist Registrars (SpRs) and Senior House Officers (SHOs) demonstrated a statistically significant decline over the years (P<0.001 for both cases, chi(2) test for trend), with the SHOs number dropping dramatically over the last 2 years. When comparing the number of operations performed by junior SpRs and senior SpRs, shift in the balance can be seen towards the senior surgeons. The proportion of operations performed by junior SpRs declined from 50% in 2000 to 28.2% in 2005.

Conclusion: Recent changes in cataract care provision have had a significant impact on training. Our results document for the first time that both higher and basic surgical trainees were affected. Future care of our patients could be comprised owing to lack of training.

MeSH terms

  • Cataract / diagnosis*
  • Cataract / therapy
  • Cataract Extraction / education*
  • Cataract Extraction / standards*
  • Cataract Extraction / trends
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Ophthalmology / education*
  • Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care
  • State Medicine
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surgicenters / statistics & numerical data
  • Teaching / methods
  • Time Factors