The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Epiretinal brachytherapy for wet age related macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration affects the area of the back of the eye that responsible for central vision (the macula). There are two types – ‘dry’ and ‘wet’. The wet form is caused by bleeding from the formation of new blood vessels. Loss of vision is progressive and often rapid.
Radiotherapy has been used in people with wet age-related macular degeneration to treat the new blood vessels growing under the macula. A probe is carefully inserted into the eye through a small incision and radiation therapy used to destroy the new blood vessels. The aim of this procedure is toslow down sight loss or stabilise the patient’s vision.
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.