Bringing eye care services closer to home

As of this week, a number of people across Morecambe Bay who would have previously had to go to hospital for their eye care can now be seen at their local opticians instead of travelling to a hospital site for an appointment.

People with eye problems, such as red eye, soreness or visual disturbance will be among those who will benefit from the community eye care service delivered by local optometrists. Additionally, this service allows many follow up appointments to take place in a community setting.

Cliff Elley, GP in North Lancashire said:

“I am delighted that local Optical practices will now often be the first port of call for people with a minor eye problem. The participating optometrists have the skills, equipment and qualified staff to ensure that patients are quickly assessed and treated, or referred to hospital if there is a more serious problem.”

Receiving care in the local community will mean that patients can benefit from receiving care closer to home, in a speedy timeframe, with all of the additional benefits including reduced travel and associated costs.

Christiane Shrimpton, Consultant Ophthalmologist at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay said:

“We are very pleased that a number of patients, who previously needed to go to hospital for their eye care, can now be seen by community providers instead. Several local opticians will be offering appointments with specially trained optometrists for a range of eye conditions.”

“Along with reducing patients need to travel, this way of working will free up hospital appointments for those with more complex conditions that can only be managed in a hospital setting.”

All community optometrists who are taking part in the scheme are fully qualified to ensure patients receive the same high quality care that they would receive in a hospital. The skilled workforce in Morecambe Bay will make sure that patients are seen by the right health professional, in the right place, at the right time. Primary Eyecare Lancashire is a not for profit company who deliver the service for patients after working with NHS commissioners to redesign and streamline local eye health pathways.

For more information about the eye health services and participating practices, visit the Primary Eyecare Lancashire website: 

Local GP surgeries, pharmacies and other health professional can visit the site and access posters and leaflets to explain the services to patients suffering eye health problems.