As part of activity surrounding the launch of a new contract service that will see optometrists being able to deliver more local eye care, Clwyd West MS Darren Millar, visited a Ruthin optometric practice this week.
The new Welsh General Ophthalmic Services Contract will see optometrists delivering more clinical care work and having greater involvement in primary care decision making.
On Monday, Darren visited Smith Family Opticians located in Ruthin to discuss the ambitious eye care reform programme
Practice Owner Kevin Smith said:
“Regular eye examinations are an important health check-up and can play a vital role in the detection of various health conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. The new contract will be launched officially in Summer 2023 following a short consultation and will use the skills of community optometrists to undertake more of the diagnosis, management and treatment of most eye conditions using cutting edge technology to help care of more patients outside of the usual secondary care, hospital-based setting.
“We are proud to have Darren Millar visiting us as part of our commitment to this new way of working. We hope that his visit will encourage as many people as possible to have regular eye examination. With more than half of all sight loss in the UK being recognised as avoidable, we are really pleased that the new contract will provide us with the opportunity to see more patients close to their homes, in the community.”
Speaking after his visit, Darren said:
“This is a huge change in the way in which optometric practices work. I am pleased that the new contracts in Wales now recognise the contribution that optometrists can make in tackling the growing patient backlog by making full use of their clinical skills, and I very much welcomed the opportunity to visit Smith Family Opticians in Ruthin to find out first-hand how this new way of working will impact them and their patients.
“I have always urged my constituents to look after their eyes and I support National Eye Health Week each year. As Kevin has highlighted, over 50 per cent of sight loss can be avoided by people wearing correctly prescribed glasses or having the right treatment at the right time. I therefore encourage the people of Clwyd West to take note and go and get their eyes checked."