New Standard Clinical Specification for access to Eyecare Across England

“A new standard clinical specification for community minor and urgent eye care, which aims to assure, support and enhance access to minor and urgent eye care locally across England, has been published.”

The specification has an aim to support and enhance access to both minor and urgent eye care across England.

Done In response to a request from the Department of Health and Social Care in September 2023.

Standards and Support

Clinical and quality standards outlined in the specification are designed to support local optical committees and commissioners in providing services.

This aims to improve consistency and reduce unwarranted variation.

Primary Care Minister Andrea Leadsom expressed government support for the specification. Highlighting efforts to reduce NHS pressure and improve patient outcomes, Including through community optometry.

Development and Collaboration

The specification was developed by LOCSU in partnership with CCEHC, with sector-wide collaboration and an evidence-based approach.

Incorporating learnings from established services and expert opinions with collaboration from entities like the College of Optometrists and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, who endorsed it clinically.

Flexibility and Improvement

The specification provides flexibility for local leaders to respond to local needs while aiming to improve consistency, reduce variation, and encourage continuous improvement in eye care services.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the College of Optometrists provided clinical endorsement of the specification.

This emphasises the importance of improving digital connectivity and ensuring proper resourcing of emergency eye care departments in hospitals.

Patient Care

Improving connectivity and resourcing is seen as crucial for reducing pressure on hospital eye services, GPs, and local A&E departments.

There is an emphasis on maintaining high standards of clinical governance and appropriate outcome measures and improve patient care by providing better access to minor and urgent eye care services in the community.

This will potentially reduce waiting times and pressure on emergency eye departments.

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