Silhillians with minor eye problems visit local opticians rather than a GP - The Solihull Observer

Silhillians with minor eye problems visit local opticians rather than a GP

Solihull Editorial 14th Mar, 2017   0

IN JUST one year 1,311 Silhillians with minor eye problems have gone to their local opticians rather than a GP.

The service was launched in March 2016 and in the past year residents, who are registered to a Solihull GP, of all ages have taken up the chance to use the free service to get help with eye conditions.

This service is not a replacement for a full, thorough eye examination, but common conditions that have been treated by the Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) have been red eyes, conjunctivitis, sore, dry eyes, watery eyes, inflammation of the eyelids, styes or visual disturbances.

Chair of the Local Optical Committee, Spencer Parkes, said: “I am delighted that optical practices across Solihull will now be the first port of call for anyone with an eye problem.

“We 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.

“This will be more convenient for patients and reduce pressure on the NHS.”

Local Optometrist, Dan Sanders, who is the service lead for Solihull MECS added that around 70 per cent will be seen within 24 hours in the convenience of their local high street optician without the need to make a GP appointment or wait for hours in A&E for minor treatment.

The new NHS services, provided by 18 optical practices across Solihull and funded by the Solihull CCG will help reduce GP and A&E visits.

Local optometrists and opticians formed a not-for-profit company, Primary Eyecare Heart of West Midlands Ltd to deliver the service for patients after working with NHS commissioners to redesign and streamline local eye health pathways.

It’s part of an NHS blueprint to take services out of hospitals and make them more effective by carrying out routine monitoring in community settings, such as high street optical practices.

For more information about the eye health services and participating practices, visit the Primary Eyecare Heart of West Midlands website

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