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The Cataract Sub-Specialty Delivery Group brings together key ophthalmology clinical, operational and managerial experts from across NHS Scotland and Scottish Government.

Improving the Delivery of Cataract Surgery in Scotland: a Blueprint for Success

In January 2022, the Scottish Government commissioned the Centre for Sustainable Delivery to establish the Scottish National Cataract Short Life Working Group to address current challenges in cataract surgery in Scotland. 

This multi-professional group has co-developed an agreed set of principles for delivering higher volume cataract surgery in operating theatres on a sustainable basis and assist in future proofing cataract services.

This work has led to the publication of 'Improving the Delivery of Cataract Surgery in Scotland: a Blueprint for Success' which will support Boards to deliver high quality, high volume, specialist care.

This Blueprint builds on existing work that has already been done by the National Eyecare Workstream to:

  • Embed recommendations from Health Board Ophthalmology Peer Reviews.
  • Align with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists guidelines for training lists and high volume service lists.
  • Acknowledge different models of service delivery from various sites across NHS Scotland. 

Our Cataract Sub-Specialty Delivery Group has been helping Boards to implement the Blueprint.

A first version toolkit setting out a range of practical actions with accompanying resources will shortly be available to help NHS Boards with local implementation.

A measurement plan to help monitor progress and offer support is also in development. 

Improving the Delivery of Cataract Surgery in Scotland: a Blueprint for Success [PDF]


Task and Finish Groups

The Cataract Sub-Specialty Delivery Group included a number of 'task and finish' sub groups to deliver key programmes of work that underpin and enable implementation of the Cataract Blueprint.

The expertise within these -Task and Finish Groups have collectively found solutions to known and perceived barriers, and as such, are contributing to building the national infrastructure to sustain cataract services for the future.

HIS Cataract Standards

The HIS Cataract Standards Development Team developed standards in support of the implementation of the Blueprint and its aim of maximising the number of procedures performed within each operating theatre session.

The HIS Cataract Standards for all Healthcare Settings were published in December 2023.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland Cataract Standards

Infection Control

This group brought together key Infection Prevention Control (IPC) stakeholders across Scotland to develop a nationally approved evidence-based set of principles aimed at reducing variation and mitigating against any perceived IPC risks whilst providing a means of monitoring through national data sets.


This group continued to build on the improvement work that has already been undertaken in community optometry through the National Eye Care Workstream, ensuring optimisation of referrals and incorporation of Realistic Medicine principles.

Surgical Training 

This group worked towards developing a national set of training principles for Ophthalmology Surgical Trainees to allow capitalisation of training opportunities in cataract surgery, including high volume cataract surgery. 

  • Resources coming soon


The Toolkit SLWG has developed a clinically-led toolkit/resource pack to act as an additional resource to support implementation of the Blueprint.

Wider Perioperative Team Development 

This group identified a number of training and education opportunities to upskill perioperative practitioners, helping to create specialised teams and maximise productivity for fast-paced high volume cataract surgery lists.