A new service has launched in Wolverhampton offering people the chance to see their optician for eye conditions, which they may previously have gone to hospital for.
And as National Eye Health Week gets underway on Monday from Sept 18-24 a call is going out to the hundreds of local people, who can often spend hours in Accident and Emergency for conditions which could have been dealt with by their local optician.
In Wolverhampton hundreds of people every year wait in Accident and Emergency for conditions such as sticky eye or ingrowing eyelashes, which can now be treated in their local opticians.
The Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS) launched this month in Wolverhampton.
Many eye conditions don’t need specialist attention at A&E and can be treated routinely at almost all the opticians operating in Wolverhampton supporting the MECS scheme.
Eye conditions that can be treated by MECS include red eyes or eyelids, irritation and inflammation of the eye, significant recent risky sticky discharge from the eye and recent sudden reduced vision among many others.
Clare Barratt is coordinating the new service at NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group and believes the new MECS can really make a difference:
“With many people attending A&E and waiting unnecessarily for minor eye conditions, the new Minor Eye Conditions Service can help provide patients with a more convenient and local service, while also alleviating hospital pressures.
“The opticians will be able to treat many conditions, and give prescriptions, which is both good for patients and takes a pressure off both GPs and hospitals.”
The MECS service replaces the PEARS service which has operated in Wolverhampton since 2014.
Eye health video
The West Midlands Local Eye Health Network has developed a video, with the support of Eye Health UK, to help people look after their eyes. Key messages include the importance of having regular eye tests, eating healthy foods and protecting your eyes from ultra-violet light. The video has been launched as part of this week's National Eye Health Week, and is available here:
Find out more information and where to find your local service here.