Study finds Scottish optometrists receive referral replies more frequently than in England
New research has explored communication between the hospital eye service and community optometrists in Scotland and England
A new study published in Eye has described the results of an audit of referrals to the hospital eye service from community optometry in Scotland and England.
A total of 905 referrals with identifying information removed from six optometry practices were analysed as part of the research.
Within Scotland, the response rate for referrals where it would be reasonable to expect a reply ranged from 45% to 92%.
This was lower within practices in England, with a response rate from 38% to 62%.
The researchers found that more than 90% of referrals in both England and Scotland were necessary and sent to the appropriate service.
Despite an an interdisciplinary joint statement on sharing patient information, the authors highlighted deficiencies in the number of replies received by referring optometrists.
“Referral replies help maintain high standards of patient care, avoid unnecessary re-referral and close the feedback loop, thereby raising the standard of referrals,” researchers emphasised.
Evans has previously spoken to OT about the importance of optometrists receiving feedback on referrals to secondary care.