2. Workloads and work patterns are well-managed

Managing the caseload of optometrists and delegated functions

The caseload for the optometrist/s should take into consideration the types of patients that they will be seeing and also the level of delegated functions that are in place in the clinic. There is no single right answer for the time allowed per appointment or the number of cases per day.

Administration and record keeping are important aspects of optometrists’ roles and adequate time should be built into the schedule to allow for this.

All staff should be familiar with the equipment used in the practice and sufficient time should be allocated for adequate training to enable the safe and efficient use of practice equipment. This is of particular importance for locums and new staff.

Best practice

  • Wherever possible, the reception staff are aware that certain patients, such as older people, require more time in the consulting room and they adjust the length of appointment times accordingly
  • All optometrists should have regular, 10-minute (minimum) catch-up meetings on a fortnightly basis with their line manager, to discuss any issues. These should then be acted upon by the manager and discussed at the following meeting. These meetings can be arranged formally or kept more informal. The
    important point is that they are held regularly, the conversation is open and honest, and that any points raised are effectively followed up
  • Opportunities to free up optometrists’ time by delegating functions to suitably trained and accredited colleagues are actively considered
  • Ensure the patient journey is regularly re-evaluated to provide the optimal level
    of service and care
  • Team meetings that discuss how the delegated functions are working and ideas for improvement are considered