The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) hosted 36 contact lens opticians at its first minor eye conditions services (MECS) extended services training days in Birmingham (21–22 May).
Practitioners who took part in the training day will be the first to offer MECS and glaucoma care in areas with commissioned schemes.
President of ABDO, Clive Marchant, said: “There is great pressure on our A&E departments. The provision of MECS within primary care High Street optical practices will help reduce this pressure and provide an accessible local and convenient service to patients with minor eye conditions.”
Each contact lens optician who is training for the scheme is in the process of completing 11 Wales Optometry Post-Graduate Education Centre (WOPEC) online lectures and multiple-choice question assessments, which is being funded by the Local Optical Committee Support Unit.
The training day featured lectures from WOPEC’s Nik Sheen and Sasha Macken as well as ABDO’s Scott Mackie.
Practical sessions included anterior chamber assessment, van herick assessment and Goldman intraocular pressure measurement.
Mr Marchant added: “There are approximately 1400 contact lens opticians and their entry working alongside optometrists will assist with the provision of MECS. Local Optical Committees report that 75% to 80% of patients who have already used MECS services present with anterior eye problems, all of which can be seen and assessed by contact lens opticians. This frees up valuable optometrist appointments.”