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Andy Britton, Optometrist in Haverfordwest, Wales and FODO's Optometry Wales Council Member

Andy Britton, Optometrist in Haverfordwest, Wales and FODO's Optometry Wales Council Member

In Wales, we have a long history of building on the solid foundation that the national sight test service provides.

Today, primary eye care in Wales provides enhanced referral refinement for conditions such as glaucoma and is increasingly at the heart of emergency and unscheduled care in local communities, including enhanced foreign body removal.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the rapid deployment of an Independent Prescribing Optometry Service across several health boards.  It was incredibly rewarding to have been part of this initiative which served patients during a very difficult time for all.

Today we are committing 70-80 clinic slots a week to support local people access timely care, which means we see more people close to home and out of hospital, which benefits patients, the NHS and colleagues in GP surgeries and busy hospital departments. This is made possible by working closely with ophthalmology colleagues and system leads.

There is so much more we can do to meet needs locally and in Wales we are now ready to expand access to more enhanced primary eye care to help tackle sight loss due to delays in accessing overburdened secondary eye care services.

Through collaborative working, innovation and making the most of primary eye care infrastructure and skills, we can meet our ageing population's eye health needs now and in the future. All it takes is a little bit of vision and a commitment to always delivering the absolute best care to your patients in your own practice.

03 May 2023

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