The achievement of high quality eyecare is dependent on an effective relationship between the ophthalmologist (secondary and tertiary care) and the primary care providers, the general practitioners and optometrists in the community. Since starting as a consultant, I have implemented several measures that aim to strengthen this relationship:
Patient letters. Each patient seen by me receives a copy of the letter sent to the GP and the GP receives a detailed summary of the clinical findings.
Electronic Patient record. A sophisticated electronic patient record is compiled for each patient thus allowing efficient and confidential retrieval of information should the GP/optometrist request it. We use the Medisoft software for this and have piloted the community glaucoma element.
Training. I have given several talks to individual GP practices and to representatives of GPs at planning meetings. Several times a year I train optometrists in glaucoma management as part of the CHANGES scheme- the pioneering community glaucoma scheme that we have set up in Cambridgeshire (winner of a national prize in 2006/7). We have trained optometrists with a specialist interest in glaucoma for this scheme, hwoever the training is open to all optometrists in the community. GPs and optometrists are also welcome to continue attending my NHS clinics for practical experience (please contact my NHS secretary on 01480 416414).
The next part of this section contains several downloadable files that may be of use to GPs and optometrists. [Please acknowledge their provenance if using these in a public forum]
The following files are in PDF format and require a PDF reader to view. You can download a free PDF reader here
1. Assessing the Optic Disc" - (0.7 MB)
This is an article that I wrote for the Journal of Community Eye Health. It sets out a strategy for assessing the optic disc which is well illustrated.
2. "Glaucoma - What a GP needs to know!" - (5.4 MB)
This is a factsheet that I compiled for GPs who wish to know the practical aspects of dealing with a patient who has been diagnosed with glaucoma. It includes answers to the common questions that I routinely field from GPs.