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In this issue, we present the initial results from the second national survey of cataract surgery, which was a collaborative endeavour supported by the Department of Health, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the College of Optometrists, and the Royal College of Nursing. Great credit is due to the authors for what was clearly an enormous task, but they rightly credit all the participating centres for the vital contribution of their own data. Together with the previous 1991 survey,1-3 we now have a detailed picture of what we are achieving in terms of the baseline characteristics of our patients and of the outcome, which is presented by Desai and colleagues in this issue of the BJO (p 893). A further paper will appear giving a fascinating modelling exercise on the national burden of visual impairment due to cataract and the levels of activity required to tackle it.4
Thus, epidemiologists have provided the evidence for an informed debate about …