The AOP launches its vision for the future

The AOP’s Strategy for Optometry aims to highlight the key role optometry plays as part of the NHS and showcase where the profession can further relieve pressure on the health service

eye graphic

The AOP has launched its Strategy for Optometry, a plan setting out a vision for the future of the profession in the UK.

Aimed at MPs, NHS Commissioners and other key decision makers, the publication is designed to highlight the key role optometry does, and could, play as part of the NHS.

The AOP noted that eye care in the UK has already gone through “fundamental change” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with optical practices providing patient eye care where hospitals and GPs could not.

Chair of AOP Council, Dr Julie-Anne Little, said: “The coronavirus pandemic prompted commissioners and clinicians to innovate. But NHS primary eye care beyond the sight test remains patchy in England, creating a postcode lottery that is confusing and unfair for patients."

The AOP’s Strategy for Optometry outlines where optometrists are qualified and equipped to deliver on more NHS work, addressing how this could relieve pressure on overstretched hospital eye and emergency departments.

Little continued: “Our strategy has been developed with the AOP Council and sets out a vision for key decision makers – showing how optometry can work better and smarter for the NHS and ensuring the skills of eye care professionals are used to their full potential. But it also highlights the reforms needed in eye care funding to make sure patients in every community retain access to the care they need.” 

A summary of the strategy has been included in the June/July edition of OT for all practising, student and career break AOP members.

The AOP’s Strategy for Optometry can be read in full on the AOP website.