An eye care scheme developed by Wolverhampton local optical committee (LOC) has been honoured through an award by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.
The Primary Eye Care Assessment and Referral Service (PEARS) was designed to reduce waiting times in accident and emergency and won the accolade of best audit in the ‘partnership working with professional stakeholders’ category.
The PEARS service is an alternative option for the diagnosis and treatment of minor eye conditions. It launched in Wolverhampton in September 2014 and the audit award was based on the service’s performance in the first six months, which involved around 1,500 PEARS consultations.
The majority of optometrists in the city are now participating in the PEARS scheme and the audit demonstrated that it is working effectively, with around 80% of patients examined and discharged, or treated in the community.
Co-chair of Wolverhampton LOC, Prab Boparai, said: “We are delighted to have received this award. It highlights the great potential for close collaboration between optometry and ophthalmology and the hard work that has gone into the service.”
Ms Boparai added: “The benefits for the Trust, for patients and the taxpayer are reflected through this award.”
In addition to co-chairing Wolverhampton LOC, Ms Boparai is a specialist optometrist at the Wolverhampton Eye Infirmary and also runs a successful independent practice in Bushbury.
Pictured left to right is Peter Rockett, Wolverhampton LOC secretary, Ms Boparai, Gwen Nuttall, chief operating officer at New Cross Hospital, Ajay Bhatnagar, consultant ophthalmologist and clinical director of Wolverhampton Eye Infirmary and Dr Ganeshan Ramsay.