Glaucoma patients at the Royal Gwent Hospital benefit from having their eye tests done by glaucoma specialists at Monnow Eyecare in Cinderhill Street. The hospital was delighted with the initial pilot programme, which showed that patients were seen in a safe environment, closer to home and with the convenience of arranging appointments in a timely manner to suit them.
Instead of having to visit the hospital, the optometrists with specialist glaucoma qualifications at Monnow carry out all the tests that would have been done in the hospital here in the local practice. Helen Tilley, optometrist at Monnow Eyecare says “Most patients come for regular monitoring, some come for diagnostic testing if glaucoma is suspected. People who come here prefer the comfort and convenience of visiting our practice rather than having to attend a hospital out-patient appointment and the quality of care they receive from us is the same as the hospital staff provide”.
At their review, Monnow Optometrists ask the patients for their history with glaucoma and find out any problems they may be having with current medication. Eye tests are done to measure the pressure and corneal thickness and the optometrist inspect the eye to assess the health of the optic nerve head. Finally, specialist stereoscopic images of the optic nerve head are taken on a Kowa camera, given to the practice for glaucoma patients by the health board.
Once the tests are complete the optometrist will share the data with the hospital consultant using a secured electronic system. The patient then has the right treatment for any glaucoma changes within the eyes.
All the Monnow Eyecare optometrists are specially trained to use the equipment. Three hold specialist Glaucoma qualifications and another is currently training towards qualification. If patients with glaucoma are not seen quickly, there can be a risk of the patient becoming blind. This shared system of collaboration between Royal Gwent Hospital and Monnow Eyecare means that patients can be seen quickly, avoiding the potential delays in their follow-up appointments and providing a better healthcare service for residents. Newly referred patients from other practices are now being triaged through the scheme also and Helen Tilley is currently in negotiation with Hereford Hospital Eye Department to see if their patients could also benefit from this excellent scheme.
If you are concerned about your eye health, it’s easy to make an appointment with the friendly staff at Monnow Eyecare. You can pop into the practice in person or make an appointment over the phone on 01600 715 299.