24.06.2009

Pilot for community-based glaucoma treatment

Pilot for community-based glaucoma treatment

By Adrian Galbreth

A trial is being held in Wales for community treatment of glaucoma instead of hospital-based procedures.

Health minister Edwina Hart said that the system may save patients having to make hospital visits, reports the BBC.

A optometrist in Carmarthenshire and a GP surgery in Vale of Glamorgan are piloting the scheme for six months.

Under its workings, diagnostic units will connect with hospitals electronically.

It is hoped that the project will eventually be expanded across all of Wales, with experts saying that a third of patients could be spared hospital treatment.

The Welsh Assembly is funding the trials.

Recently, Optometry Today reported that the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) had called for a review into the treatment of glaucoma.

The body has received reports that some patients have suffered postponements or cancellations in their follow-up appointments for glaucoma treatment and said that in some cases, people had lost sight.

NPSA medical director Kevin Cleary said that glaucoma is serious but also "very manageable".

by Alexa Kaczka


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