Treatment offered closer to patient's home.
Thousands of patients will be cared for at their local community optometry practice rather than in the hospital as part of a new NHS community glaucoma service.
The flagship eyecare service is being rolled out in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and will expand across Scotland over the next two years and is expected to register an estimated 20,000 patients once complete.
As part of the service, patients with lower risk glaucoma or treated ocular hypertension will be safely cared for in community optometry practices, closer to home, rather than having to travel to hospital and help to reduce waiting times pressures in hospitals.
Marking the launch at Munro Optometrists, one of the first practices to offer the service, Public Health Minister Jenni Minto said:
“Scotland is regarded as a world leader in community eye care service provision. We are the only country in the UK to provide free universal NHS-funded eye examinations, and our investment in community optometry services has helped reduce the burden on GPs and secondary care services. I am very pleased to celebrate the launch of this new flagship NHS Community Glaucoma Service in Glasgow and look forward to seeing more patients across the country benefiting from the rollout.”
Frank Munro, practice owner said:
“This new development demonstrates another positive aspect of joint working across the eyecare sector. This policy development comes at a much-needed time with so many people on long waiting lists waiting for appointments. This innovation demonstrates the proactive, constructive discussions that have taken place and the Scottish Government and Optometry Scotland should be congratulated in bringing the Community Glaucoma Service into effect. There is no doubt that this will benefit thousands of patients living with glaucoma across Scotland.”