Helen’s new qualification means fewer patients need A&E for eye emergencies
Helen Tilley of Monnow Eyecare has successfully completed her Diploma in Therapeutics and Independent prescribing. This means that the emergency service they provide at the practice in Cinderhill Street, Monmouth can now include the prescribing of medicines for common emergencies, so patients can avoid having to wait for long periods at a hospital A&E department.
For Helen, this has been a major commitment of time and studying. The course was 2 years and involved 24 training sessions in an eye casualty department, working with an ophthalmologist and completing 3 masters modules. Helen’s final exam was in Edinburgh. Helen jokes that completing the qualification was “harder than my first degree course!”. Helen’s colleague, Barbara Ryan, is also working towards the same qualification, which is currently held by only half a dozen optometrists across Wales.
In practice this is good news for anyone who comes to the Monnow practice with a common eye emergency. The practice already has a triage service but can now provide treatment at the practice for conditions like eye inflammation (iritis) which is treated with steroids, styes can be treated with oral antibiotics and dendritic ulcers, caused by the coldsore virus infecting the eye, with anti-virals. For a patient with these conditions, this means they no longer need travel to a hospital and having to wait for treatment in a busy A&E department. Helen has had an interest in emergency eyecare for many years and is used to removing bits of metal for farmers when they have forgotten to wear goggles. This additional qualification allows her to provide more emergency care within the comfort of the practice. Other conditions which cannot be treated on site will continue to be referred directly to the eye casualty department as before.
Emergency check-up appointments at Monnow Eyecare are free, so if you are involved in an accident or notice any sudden change in your eyesight, contact the friendly receptionists on 01600 715 299 and we’ll usually be able to see you on the same day. These check-ups typically last about 40 minutes. People are advised to bring someone with them and not to drive themselves to the appointment in case you need eyedrops to enlarge your pupils or need to be referred to hospital.
We hope you won’t ever need to use our emergency service, but it’s reassuring to know that our friendly professionals are there to help if you do. Simply call us on 01600 715 299 if it’s an emergency or you can find out more information here about emergency eyecare.