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Oxford doctor scoops prestigious patient care award

Prof Peter Scanlon

Professor Peter Scanlon, a Medical Ophthalmologist from Oxford University Hospitals, said it "feels amazing" to win at the Royal College of Physicians' (RCP) Excellence in Patient Care Awards (Wednesday 26 May).

Victorious in the 'Contribution to the Profession' category, Prof Scanlon, who also has roles at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford, was recognised for his excellent work in preventing blindness in people with diabetes.

He has helped improve processes for screening, assessment, and treatment across all of England to 2.3 million people with diabetes.

Prof Scanlon said: "It feels amazing to have received this recognition from the Royal College of Physicians.

"I have worked with colleagues to try and prevent blindness in people with diabetes. This award is a recognition that my colleagues and I have been successful in being able to tell young and older people with diabetes that, provided they take care of themselves, attend for their screening appointments and receive treatment at the appropriate stage of the condition, they will have very little chance of going blind, which is a big change from 20 years ago.

"No one achieves anything without working in an effective team and I am extremely grateful to my colleagues in the Eye Units at Oxford and Gloucester, the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience, and Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford for providing such a supportive platform to succeed.

"I would also like to acknowledge the enormous support received from colleagues in Public Health England, NHS England, and from charities for our work, such as the Gloucestershire Eye Therapy Trust and the Hospitals charity."

Prof Scanlon has been Clinical Director of the English NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme since its inception in 2003. This has been a major contributor to diabetic retinopathy (DR) no longer being the leading cause of working age blindness, as well as leading to other positive health benefits for people needing ophthalmic care.

Dr Alice McDowell, a Speciality Doctor in Ophthalmology at Gloucestershire Hospitals who nominated Prof Scanlon, described Peter Scanlon as a "trailblazer" and "an inspirational colleague".

Stella Hornby, Clinical Lead for Ophthalmology and Consultant Ophthalmologist at OUH, said: "The OUH Ophthalmology team is so proud of Prof Scanlon for winning this award.

"A pioneer in his field, his unwavering commitment and energy to improving patient care has benefitted a huge number of people. He fully deserves this recognition."

Professor Susan Downes, Professor of Ophthalmology at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, said: "The Oxford Eye Hospital and the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences are delighted to congratulate Associate Professor Peter Scanlon for winning this prize.

"This is entirely deserved. Peter has been an amazing leader in developing and delivering diabetic retinopathy screening across the UK. We have been very fortunate in having Peter in Oxford spearheading this service. He has made a significant contribution to mentoring colleagues locally and nationally, as well as publishing seminal articles in the field."

Andrew Goddard, President at the Royal College of Physicians, said: "I would like to personally congratulate all the winners and finalists on their achievements – it goes without saying that your work is exceptional and you should all be extremely proud.

"I know that these awards inspire many others across the world to make a difference within healthcare."