Eyecare service

Waiting times set to be reduced as NHS moves to bring eyecare services closer to home in Scotland

Thousands of patients in Scotland are set to benefit from more accessible healthcare as the country’s NHS Community Glaucoma Service launches.

Initially, the flagship eyecare service will be rolled out in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, but, following an expansion over the next two years, the service will stretch across the entire country and will serve approximately 20,000 patients, the Scottish Government estimates.

In support of ongoing efforts to help alleviate waiting time pressures in hospitals, the new service will care for patients with lower risk glaucoma or treated ocular hypertension in community optometry practices – circumventing the patient’s need to travel to a hospital.

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.”

The roll out also aligns with the national guidance set out by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network.

Optometry Practice owner, Frank Munro, added: “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.”

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