The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on radiotherapy for age-related macular degeneration.
This guidance was considered for reassessment in January 2011. It was concluded that NICE will not be updating this guidance as investigations have suggested that radiotherapy for age-related macular degeneration has been superseded by other techniques.
Age-related macular degeneration is the commonest cause of irreversible blindness in developed countries. Radiotherapy can be used to destroy new vessels in the wet form of macular degeneration. It is usually given as a day treatment. The beam of radiotherapy is angled to avoid damage to the optic nerve and structures in the other eye.
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.