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Streamline patient referrals

Connect with secondary care to expedite diagnosis and treatment of eye disease

Optician writing some notes

Approximately 20 million sight tests are carried out each year by optometrists. Patients may present with undetected eye health issues which require further treatment in HES.

However, the lack of IT connectivity between optometry and HES means that thousands of routine scans carried out as part of High Street sight tests are wasted because they cannot be transferred electronically to secondary care clinicians. The requirement for secondary care to repeat scans is expensive and time consuming, contributing to the growing ophthalmology backlog which stands at over 600,000 – and would be unnecessary if a joined-up IT system was in place.

As a basic minimum, optometrists should be set up with access to an NHS.net email address, to enable communication, and effective triage, between optometrists and secondary care. Based on figures from the Department of Health and Social Care, the estimated cost of rolling out NHS Mail is £250,000 per year– a minimal outlay that would revolutionising the patient pathway.