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Thoughts on the coming Year 2024

Thoughts on the coming Year 2024

From Giles Edmonds

Together we can deliver for our patients and profession

THE optical sector rallying behind efforts to improve access to care for patients has been a highlight of 2023, according to Specsavers’s clinical services director.

But with a UK general election looming in the next 12 months, Giles Edmonds says that the collaboration must continue into 2024 because it has the potential to deliver more benefits for patients and the sector’s ongoing development in providing care and supporting the NHS.

‘The sector has rallied behind calls for a Community Urgent Eye care Service (CUES) and a National Eye Health strategy for England, which would improve access to eye care and reduce pressure on the NHS,’ he says.

‘There is momentum, for example following the Minister’s letter inviting the development of a standard service specification for minor/urgent eye care services in England. We have also seen our colleagues across the sector back efforts in parliament for that strategy in England.

‘Collectively, we need to continue to work together in the year ahead and beyond to ensure these policy developments improve access to care and are delivered at pace as there could be a UK general election within the next 12 months. Together, we can deliver even more for our patients and our profession.’

Developing and getting Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) to launch new glaucoma care pathways for the benefit of patients will be another key area for 2024, according to Mr Edmonds, with expert optometrists in primary care ready and able to help prevent avoidable sight loss working with ophthalmology colleagues in secondary care.

‘Specsavers will continue to be advocates for patients and the profession, promoting the role of optometry in delivering eye care services in the community. We remain committed to enhancing the clinical skills and career development of our colleagues, providing the best possible care for patients and to supporting the optical sector as a whole,’ he adds.



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