Glaucoma UK announces winners of Excellence in Glaucoma Care Awards
The winners developed a new electronic patient record and electronic referral system for eye care in Wales during the pandemic
18 March 2022
Glaucoma UK has announced the winner and runner-up of its annual Excellence in Glaucoma Care Awards.
The winners were Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) Primary Care Optometry and Secondary Care Glaucoma Teams, and Gareth Bulpin, national architect for eye care digitisation.
Glaucoma UK recognised the work that Bulpin and the UHB did in developing a new electronic patient record (EPR) and electronic referral system for eye care in Wales during the pandemic.
The EPR is the first national system of its kind, and allows optometrists with additional glaucoma qualifications to assess glaucoma patients and upload eye images and results to the EPR within the secure NHS network.
The record can then be viewed virtually by a hospital consultant, and a decision made on the next steps for the patient’s care.
The system allows glaucoma patients to choose appointment times and locations that suit them and to be seen quicker than in a traditional eye care model, where patients would attend a hospital eye clinic for every appointment.
Bulpin, who accepted the award on behalf of the project team, lost sight in his left eye following a stroke and quickly identified an acute sector that could not cope with the demands of an ageing community. He came out of retirement to lead the project, with the aim of improving the experiences of other critical eye patients.
Bulpin said: “This is by far the best award to win and means the most. The reason for that is that it’s from patients to a patient. As a patient myself, I clearly understand the trauma of lost sight.”
He added: “This work is saving the sight of the residents of Cardiff and Vale, it’s that simple. It’s saved some (people’s) sight, however, there’s still more work to be done.”
The runner-up was Rashmi Mathew, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital.
Mathew was nominated for the award by her Moorfields glaucoma patients, for her outstanding care and kindness. One nominee said that she had given them “confidence in dealing with the condition” as she “takes the time to assess your personal needs and gives attention to any concerns that are raised.”
Mathew called being nominated by her patients “a real honour.”
The charity called the winners and runner-up “shining examples of the latest innovations and excellence in patient care” and added “how heartening it is to see the number of nominations growing each year for teams and individuals working hard to improve care for glaucoma patients.”
Nominations for the Excellence in Glaucoma Care Awards 2023 are now open, and Glaucoma UK is welcoming nominations for an individual or team from any field of glaucoma care.
More information can be found on the Glaucoma UK website.
Lead image: Professor Philip Bloom (right) with Wai Siene Ng and Gareth Bulpin, who accepted the award on behalf of the project team
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