Because the symptoms of glaucoma often develop over sometime, they may be overlooked or confused with other eye conditions. Therefore the failure to carry out the appropriate tests could mean that your glaucoma would remain undetected for some time.
If it can be shown that a delay in diagnosing your glaucoma and / or delays in treating the condition have resulted in permanent vision loss or even blindness, you could be entitled to make a glaucoma compensation claim.
Contact our medical negligence eye injury specialists today for advice on making a claim.
A Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) investigation revealed that an estimated 22 people a month suffered severe or permanent loss of sight due to delays in follow up eye appointments. The HSIB report revealed that a 34 year old woman received £3.2 Million in compensation as result of delays in treating her eye condition. An 11 month delay in receiving glaucoma treatment resulted in the woman going blind.
Keith Conradi, the HSIB’s chief investigator, said: “Glaucoma is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness. We know that delay to appointments once patients are diagnosed exacerbates the risk of sight loss in patients across England”.
Conradi criticised the NHS inaction over the problem and the delays in obtaining eye appointments for Glaucoma patients:
“Despite some national recommendations being made 10 years ago this continues to happen and will only worsen as the population ages. A 44% increase in the number of people with glaucoma is predicted by the year 2035.
There is inadequate services in an eye care setting in hospital capacity to meet the demand for glaucoma services. A shortage of ophthalmologists is a particular problem.”
Helen Lee, policy and campaigns manager at the sight loss charity RNIB, said the HSIB findings had shown “a serious and dangerous lack of specialist staff and space in NHS ophthalmology services across the country”.