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Minor Eye Conditions Review

Having your say on how minor eye conditions are treated and helping to shape how services are planned and delivered locally

Summary 

We have been reviewing the way in which minor eye conditions are treated locally and during February and March we asked for your help with this. 

The deadline for comments and feedback was 21 March 2018.  All of the feedback we received has now been analysed and reviewed.

Your feedback

An engagement summary report detailing the feedback received has been produced which can be accessed here.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views with us.

Background to the review 

Back in 2015, the CCG launched a free eye care service for people with minor eye conditions called the Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service or more commonly referred to as PEARS

The aim of the PEARS scheme is that instead of people having to wait for a GP appointment or needing to attend A&E, they can make an appointment with their local participating optician and be seen for one of a number of minor eye conditions within one or two working days.   At the appointment, an optician assesses and treats the condition, or is able to make an onward referral where appropriate for further treatment/ advice in relation to the type of minor eye conditions listed below; 

  • Red eye or eyelids
  • Dry eye, gritty and uncomfortable eyes
  • Irritation and inflammation of the eye
  • Significant recent sticky discharge from the eye or watery eye
  • Recently occurring or sudden increase of flashes and floaters
  • Painful eye
  • In-growing eyelashes
  • Recent and sudden reduced vision
  • Something in the eye

What did we want to find out?

The current contract for delivery of the PEARS scheme was due to come to an end later in 2018 and prior to this we wanted to carry out a review with the specific aim to gain views and feedback from the following three key groups of people; those people using the service; those people referring into the service and; those people providing the service in order to determine the effectiveness of the current PEARS scheme and to help shape the development of future minor eye conditions services locally.  

In order to help us to achieve the above, two separate surveys were designed and undertaken in order to obtain views from a) local patients and carers and b) clinicians on their experiences of accessing, using and referring into local eye care services in Barnsley as the more examples and feedback we could get, the better we can ensure that future community services meet the needs of the local people accessing them. 

We went out to local opticians across the borough to ask people to complete the surveys. We also promoted these on social media, both on our page and though paid for adverts. 

In addition to the surveys, we also held an evening workshop on Wednesday 14th March 2018 between 6.00pm and 8:00pm at The Core, County Way, Barnsley to look at the service in further detail and gather comments and thoughts to help shape the future service specification.

What happened with your feedback?

This engagement process has provided a brief snapshot of the views and experiences from a number of patients, carers, clinicians and other stakeholders regarding minor eye care locally.

The collective feedback that we have gained as a result of this engagement has helped us understand more about how the PEARS service works -  what respondents think works well and where there is room for improvement. 

The themes from the feedback were shared with the lead commissioners for this service in order to directly help shape the development of future assessment and treatment of minor eye conditions in Barnsley and the new service specification for this.

Getting involved in the procurement process 

Following on from the above, the CCG undertook a formal re-procurement process to find a main provider of a Minor Eye Conditions service in Barnsley and we asked for help with this.  We were keen to ensure that the new service would meet the needs of the local population across Barnsley and provide value for money.

We recognise that the valuable knowledge and experiences of the service users and their carers who use these services is second to none. Therefore, it is important that service users and carers are given the opportunity to be part of the decision making on finding new providers for their service.

We recruited patient and public representatives to be part of the team that oversaw the process to evaluate the potential providers of the minor eye conditions service.  

Please click here to access the role description we used to recruit which provided an overview of the role, timescale for the process, and level of commitment required.    

Next steps 

An updated report is to be published after the service has been up and running for 12 months (April 2019) to highlight how this feedback has directly shaped and influenced the new service specification and this will also be published on this page as well as being sent out directly to all those respondents who have requested paper copies. 

If you would like to discuss any of the above in further detail or provide feedback on the report please call Louise Exley – Commissioning and Transformation Project Coordinator on 01226 433779 or e-mail us at barnccg.comms@nhs.net using the subject header – Minor Eye Conditions. 

Thanks again to everyone who has given their time to share their views to help inform this process and to all partners who have helped us to gain their feedback.