The Welsh Government has granted permission for contact lens opticians to deliver acute eye care services as part of the Eye Health Examinations Wales (EHEW) service.
All practising contact lens opticians in Wales can now apply to commence Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre (WOPEC) EHEW accreditation training with the view to participate in the EHEW scheme on completion.
The decision was made after consulting with Optometry Wales, the EHEW clinical lead and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).
Director of WOPEC, Dr Nik Sheen, said: “Delivery of the EHEW service now enables contact lens opticians to see those patients presenting with an acute eye care problem. This is great news for Wales and particularly practices that are seeing increasing numbers of these patients so that the skills and expertise of contact lens opticians can be utilised fully.”
Chief executive of Optometry Wales, Sali Davis, said the organisation will support the “invaluable contribution” that contact lens opticians can make to the workforce in Wales. Deputy chief executive of ABDO, Barry Duncan, added that this represents “a further step forward in multi-disciplinary working between the optometry and contact lens optician.”
The organisations explained that the training process will complement the system currently operating in England. Upon completion of the online training modules the practitioner will attend an ABDO Extended Services Training Day in collaboration with WOPEC followed by the WOPEC EHEW accreditation training.
For further information, email Sharon Beatty at WOPEC.
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