Ophthalmic simulation is cost-effective in complication prevention. However, there is no consistent resource allocation to provide the necessary time and finance to sustain such activities. We wished to identify the current support for the regional Simulation Leads in the UK.
An online SurveyMonkey questionnaire was sent to all 26 UK ophthalmic regional Simulation Leads in February 2021 regarding current simulation activity and the degree of time and resource support available.
There were 22 responses within 1 month (84.6% response rate). 72.7% run regular simulation induction events for new trainees. 60% run mandatory laser simulation events. 38.1% run immersive simulation (vitreous loss fire drill). 47.6% run yearly sub-specialty events. 45.5% were required to make additional work arrangements to run simulation events. 77.3% had no job plan time allocation for simulation. 59.1% dedicated >1 hr/week to simulation. 68.2% EYESI simulators were purchased via charity/endowments. 72.7% had access to dedicated dry lab simulation (40.9% wet lab). 40.9% used deanery funds to purchase initial model eyes (supplemented by charity (36.4%) and endowments (31.8%)). 65% used unspent study leave budgets for ongoing model eyes, yet 15% reported trainees purchasing their own.
Nearly all ophthalmic simulation in the UK is undertaken via goodwill and personal commitment to excellence by the regional Simulation Leads. There is minimal allowance of time or finance for these vital activities, which is sporadic at best, and unsustainable. We call for the necessary investment and dedicated time allocation to permit ophthalmic simulation to be supported and maintained.
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We wish to thank all the regional Simulation Leads for their commitment to excellence in training and acknowledge those who responded and raised the issues contained in this article. The contributors were: Imran Ashfaq (North East), Richard Best (Northern Ireland), Kate Bush (Wessex), Tom Butler (East Anglia), James Deane (East Midlands South), Chrys Dimitriou (East Anglia), Tim de Klerk (Northwest), John Ferris (Severn), Simon Hewick (Scotland North), Jim Innes (Yorkshire), Saurabh Jain (London), David Lockington (West of Scotland), Arijit Mitra (West Midlands), Balasubramanian Ramasamy (Mersey/Northwest), George Saleh (London), Eulee Seow (Wales), Tamsin Sleep (Peninsula), John Somner (East of England), Richard Stead (East Midlands North), Sonali Tarafdar (Scotland East), Naing Tint (South East of Scotland), Martin Wasik (Thames Valley).
None to report. George M Saleh’s contribution was part-funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Biomedical Research Centre based at Moorfields Eye Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. The views expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Health.
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Lockington, D., Saleh, G.M., Spencer, A.F. et al. Cost and time resourcing for ophthalmic simulation in the UK: a Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ National Survey of regional Simulation Leads in 2021. Eye (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-021-01796-4