Over 3500 Specsavers staff have completed an online glaucoma training course to increase their understanding of the eye condition and its effect on patients.
Designed in partnership with the International Glaucoma Association (IGA), the training included advice on how to administer eye drops effectively.
At Specsavers in Hereford, 12 of the practice’s support staff are IGA trained, eight of its optometrists have, or are currently undertaking, a Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre Level 2 accreditation in glaucoma and six of them have a Professional Certificate in Glaucoma from the College of Optometrists.
Optometrist partner at the Hereford based practice, Darren Smith, said: “For the optometrists, it gives them a greater scope of practice. It’s more rewarding. And because they’re seeing more patients with the disease, they become more competent at picking it up in the first place, so it becomes a positive cycle.”
“Our support staff appreciate the glaucoma training and development and having a bit more knowledge about the condition. It helps them to empathise with patients once they’ve been diagnosed, make sure they’re following their treatment regimen correctly and advise on applying eye drops. Overall, it’s a really positive thing,” he added.
The practice delivers a range of glaucoma shared care schemes, including enhanced case finding assessment, an ocular hypertension monitoring service and stable glaucoma monitoring service.
Chief executive officer of the IGA, Karen Osborn, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Specsavers and in the investment that is being made in training and accrediting optometrists and their colleagues to provide the best possible care to people with glaucoma.”