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Laser Eye Surgery

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what information he has collated on the success rate of (a) Lasik and (b) other laser eye surgery procedures;[109153](2) what plans he has

(a) to regulate providers of laser eye surgery treatments and (b) to record individual surgeons' success rates and history;[109154]

(3) what measures are in place to ensure that people offering laser eye surgery are adequately qualified and to require them to inform patients of possible side-effects of any treatment.[109152]

Establishments where Class 4 laser treatment is provided are required to be registered with the National Care Standards Commission as independent hospitals, under the Care Standards Act 2000 and must comply with the Private and Voluntary Health Care Regulations. Regulation 42(1) requires that the registered person has in place a professional protocol drawn up by a trained and experienced medical practitioner or dentist from the relevant discipline in which treatment is to be provided.Providers are also required to meet two sets of national minimum standards—core standards and service-specific standards. The core standards apply to all health care providers and include standards on the information that must be provided for patients. The provider must make available to prospective patients a patient's guide, reviewed annually, expressed in clear, relevant language and in a format suitable for the patient profile with regard to language and sensory or learning disabilities. The information provided must be accurate, not misleading and any claims made must be justified.The standards specific to laser treatment set out in detail all the issues to be addressed by the professional protocol and mandatory written policies and procedures, including the operator's responsibilities, technique, biological effects of treatment, procedures, qualifications, training, access, environment, maintenance, management, safety, adverse incidents, hazards, contra-indications, pre-treatment tests, post-treatment care and records.The vast majority of laser eye surgery takes place in private practice. The Department of Health does not collect information about such procedures by individual surgeons.