Eyecare IS already close to home, people just don’t know about it

The BBC’s recent investigation into NHS England waiting lists is enough to strike fear into anyone with deteriorating eye conditions. Couple the headline ‘NHS hidden waiting lists terrifying patients’ with the story of someone living with Wet AMD and the outlook certainly looks bleak.

But it doesn’t need to be. The reality is that community eyecare has been available at a local level in many regions across England, for years – there simply isn’t enough spotlight on the provision.

At CHEC Coventry, we’ve pioneered a hub and spoke model that increases patient choice as to who delivers their eye treatment, making eye treatments more accessible, and ultimately helps to reduce the time people wait for any treatment to under four weeks, and importantly, on an ongoing basis.

CHEC quickly recognised a need to adopt a community model and mobilised treatment management in a GP clinic for its AMD services following its commencement in 2020. More than 4,000 patients have been treated to date, showing us that preventative treatment and eye condition management are best handled in the community, and in partnership with optometrists who are firmly in the primary care camp.

It’s quite timely that in the same week waiting lists hit the headlines for ‘terrifying’ reasons, the King’s Fund has called for a radical refocusing of the health and care system to put primary and community services at its core. We fully support the call for this movement, after years of seeing just how positively community healthcare can impact patients’ quality of life.

However, to continue achieving the positive patient outcomes we already have in our community clinics, we need all healthcare providers to work in partnership to spread the same message: high quality patient care can be and is being delivered at a local level. Treatments are available as and when they are needed, and more importantly, accessible closer to home. 

Mr Imran Rahman, MB BS FRCOphth, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Chief Executive Officer of CHEC, a nationwide provider of healthcare services in the community


Join our audience of healthcare industry professionals

Join our audience of healthcare industry professionals