For people affected by sight loss or an eye condition, whether individuals, carers, or eye health professionals, one of the most important issues is how to prioritise resources to ensure developments in care are achieved as quickly as possible.

The Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership, which took place between May 2012 and June 2013, identified for the first time the most pressing unanswered questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sight loss and eye conditions. The aim was to ensure that future research can be prioritised according to the needs of patients, carers and eye health professionals.

There has always been consensus across the sector that people with experience of sight loss and eye conditions and eye health professionals should have their say.
Kathy Evans, former Chief Executive, Royal College of Ophthalmologists

The project

The project was overseen by The James Lind Alliance, a non-profit making organisation funded by the National Institute for Health Research, ensuring the exercise produced an unbiased result, with equal weighting given to the views of the different participating groups. It was funded by The College of Optometrists, Fight for Sight, NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre, RNIB and The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

The project involved four stages:

  • a survey to gather research questions from as wide an audience as possible - over 2,200 responses from patients, eye care professionals, researchers and other stakeholders yielded 4,461 questions
  • analysis of the questions, to remove those out of the scope of vision research and duplicate questions, and to assign one of 12 categories to each remaining question
  • consultation to reduce the questions down to 30 per category
  • workshops on each category, once again involving everyone from patients to researchers, to create a final top 10 per category.
I think this was a ground breaking and very valuable piece of work.
Mr Praveen Patel, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Download the report

This report of the project was officially launched at a reception at the House of Lords, Westminster, on Wednesday 9 October 2013.