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New service for people with minor eye problems goes live

25 April 2019

Patients with minor eye conditions are set to benefit from a new scheme which has been launched across south Essex.

The Community Ophthalmology Service, supported by hospital consultants, will see patients who have been referred to Southend University Hospital's eye service. 

Following clinically approved guidelines, some patients will be seen in the community by a skilled and qualified optometrist. The service, which will go live in mid Essex in early summer, will help ensure patients with minor eye complaints can be seen quickly and safely at a local optician rather than wait for a hospital appointment.

Patients with minor complaints, such as a red eye or flashes and floaters in the eye, will be offered a choice of local optician for their appointment, which should happen within three weeks of their referral to hospital.

The hospitals hope that up to 30% of patients referred to the hospitals for eye complaints in the next 18 months could now take advantage of the new service, which will help to reduce waiting times for hospital appointments for those with more complex conditions.

The launch of this service forms part of the clinical redesign work being carried out across our hospital group and demonstrates how we can provide better services for our patients by working together.

Ophthalmology appointments

As part of the Community Ophthalmology Service, the group has now appointed the following:

  • Group Clinical Lead - Niral Karia
  • Deputy Clinical Lead based at Mid Essex  - Seyed Ghazi-Nouri
  • Deputy Clinical Lead based at Southend  - Vernon Geh
  • General Manager - Maraget-ann Girvan