Scottish Government
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Improving eye care

Plans to introduce an eOphtalmic programme in high street opticians across Scotland to improve eye care are pressing ahead.

Speaking at an RNIB conference today Cabinet Secretary for Health Alex Neil will outline how the Eye Care Integration programme will soon be made available in high street opticians across Scotland.

The programme will revolutionise how people are referred for specialist eye care treatment by taking high resolution images of patients eyes when they visit high street opticians and sending them electronically to hospital eye services for assessment and prompt treatment.

Part of NHS Scotland’s eHealth agenda it will reduce unnecessary waiting times and improves the timely delivery of sight-saving treatment.

Mr Neil said:

“This is a great example of NHS Scotland leading the way and pioneering a new referral process for serious eye conditions not yet in place anywhere else in the UK.

“More importantly it dramatically speeds up the process of identifying and treating of eye conditions – in particular those which threaten people’s sight.

“This guide will help optometrists across Scotland connect directly and immediately with other NHS services. It will also remove the dependency on GPs, allowing optometrists to refer patients directly, supporting the Scottish Government strategic commitment to connect all primary care practitioners to the NHS Scotland electronic community."

The programme was successfully piloted in Fife and the Highlands the programme is now being rolled out in all high street optometrists across Scotland.

Notes to editors