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Ophthalmic services in Wales, your views requested

AOP Members invited to respond to planned reform on ophthalmic primary care services in Wales

The Welsh Government has put forward proposals to reform ophthalmic services in primary care 

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is encouraging Welsh members to engage with the latest consultation by the Welsh Government looking at the reform of ophthalmic services delivered in primary care in Wales.

The public consultation asks for evidence that will enable an increase in scope for eye health care services – with particular focus on addressing three key areas:

  • strengthening optometrist’s support and clinical care of people’s eye health
  • improving ongoing treatment and care closer to people’s homes and in the community
  • ensuring optometry services in Wales are fit for the future.

The AOP will respond to the proposals with and on behalf of members in Wales and will actively be encouraging other interested bodies to join in our response.

Adam Sampson, AOP Chief Executive
, said that it was essential that members get involved in the AOP’s upcoming activity: “The Welsh Government consultation maps out proposals for fundamental changes in the way that primary eye care services are provided in Wales. It is therefore vital that members actively engage with the issues raised by the consultation.

“We will be engaging with members directly across all the key strands of the consultation in order to exert maximum influence on the proposals. In particular, we will want to scrutinise how the proposed new system-wide approach will impact patient voucher values, especially for those more vulnerable groups, and how our members in small independent practice and providing domiciliary services will be impacted by these changes.

“We have already raised concerns about the implications of these and will look for some robust answers from Welsh Government to ensure continuity of eye healthcare in Wales and the best possible service for patients.”
The consultation will close on 19 June 2023. Submissions to the consultation can be made online.

AOP members who would like further information or have any questions about the consultation can contact the AOP Policy team:

Optometry Wales has published its initial statement and will soon post FAQs.

You can also read a statement on proposed reforms by Eluned Morgan MS, minister for health and social services, which explains how a “trained and well-equipped workforce” in primary eye care is key to helping meet growing eye health needs in Wales.  The minister’s statement also encourages ongoing “robust dialogue, discussion, and collaborative working” to further improve eye care for people in Wales.