The UKOA is a membership group of UK NHS ophthalmology providers and stakeholders founded in 2017. It was inspired by the National Orthopaedic Alliance (NOA) and is rapidly expanding the scope of specialty alliance methodology. Its ambition is to promote national standardisation and shared learning to deliver best practice in clinical outcomes, patient co-developed standards and cost efficiency.
The Alliance was established using the experience and knowledge of large ophthalmology units and the GIRFT (Getting it Right First Time) clinical ophthalmology leads to identify appropriate founder members. We selected founder members with a reputation for quality and engagement as well as having a good geographical spread. Now, the UKOA is open to membership for ALL UK NHS ophthalmology providers.
UKOA is supported by key stakeholders such as the professional Colleges, NHS programmes such as GIRFT and large eye care charities, which provide feedback and recommendations for the Alliance and co-badge some of our publications. We welcome enquiries from suitable organisations such as large eye charities or commissioner groups on becoming stakeholders.
A key aspect of the specialty alliance model is that the structure, direction and activities of the UKOA are determined by the wishes of the members. Ophthalmology has a dedicated Royal College whereas orthopaedics does not, and there are important differences in the specialty and the way it is practiced which means the UKOA differs from the NOA.
The UKOA covers the whole of the UK, with the aim of being inclusive of different size and types of unit and involving of key ophthalmic professional and charity bodies. By being inclusive, we hope that our Alliance can provide a whole sector voice for the profession and the greatest chance for patient centred improvement.