A new pilot, which involves patients attending a short appointment for diagnostic tests which are later reviewed by a glaucoma consultant, is making it quicker for patients to get their glaucoma diagnosis.
Under the pilot, eligible patients referred to the Royal Devon with suspected glaucoma are offered an appointment at the Centre of Excellence for Eyes (CEE) at the NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter for diagnostic tests. These tests are then reviewed by a glaucoma consultant who contacts the patient with the findings and any recommended treatment.
The new process reduces the initial appointment time from two hours to just 30 minutes, giving patients a better experience and clinical staff more time for those who have more complicated problems and require an in-person assessment. As well as improving the patient experience on the day, the increased efficiency of this service should reduce the waiting time for an initial assessment.
Results from the pilot have been very positive. Following the initial visit to the Eye Clinic at Exeter Nightingale, our clinicians were able to come to a clinical decision for 81% of patients. For the remaining 19%, the tests helped determine the urgency of a later face-to-face follow-up appointment in the Glaucoma Unit at Heavitree Hospital.
Like glaucoma services across the UK, the glaucoma team in Exeter has experienced high demand for their services. The team is hopeful that expansion of this scheme will make things better for patients, reducing the number of people needing to come into hospital so that patients can be seen quicker for their initial glaucoma assessment.
Last updated: August 03, 2023