A new short notice appointment system is being introduced across the Clyde area which will offer major improvements to patients requiring emergency eye care.
From the beginning of April the new Clyde Ophthalmology Acute Referral Centre (Clyde ARC) will see patients being referred via their Optometrist or GP for emergency eye care to either the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) or Inverclyde Royal Hospital (IRH).
This system is already successfully in place across Greater Glasgow and has seen a major reduction in casualty waiting times and quicker access to treatment.
The new service will be rolled out across Clyde at the beginning of April and patients who are experiencing problems including itchy eyes, watery eyes, sore eyes or red eyes can now approach their local optometrist who will either treat the condition or organise an appropriate appointment at either the RAH or IRH.
Of course, any patient with an eye injury that requires immediate attention should attend the nearest accident and emergency department and all children under one should attend the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
Dr Ehab Abdelkader, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Royal Alexandra Hospital, said “Optometrists in Scotland are highly trained to diagnose a vast number of eye problems and many are now able to prescribe treatments for common eye conditions.
“Joined up working between community optometry and the hospital eye services is bound to deliver a much better service for all patients.
“This will allow providing treatments in the community to many cases avoiding the need to travel to a hospital which can often be a prolonged process for patients not living near one.
“In addition, this enables the hospital eye services to provide specialist care in a timely and a much more efficient manner.”
Speaking about the changes, Mr William Wilkie, Chair of the Lead Optometry Group added “Community Optometry is ideally placed to deliver prompt, effective solutions for most eye problems.
“It has been shown that less than one in five eye problems require referral to the Hospital Eye Service.
“Thus having patients assessed at their local optometrist will ensure that the truly serious emergencies will receive immediate treatment.”
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email press[email protected]