Boost For Welsh Eyecare

The flag of Wales

The flag of Wales

New investment in primary health care in Wales will mean a significant boost for the quality of eye care across the country.

The Welsh Minister for Health and Social Care Services, Professor Mark Drakeford, has announced an injection of £3.5m into primary health care services in Wales.

The funding will be used to reduce inequality in the standard of eye care received in some of the most deprived communities by helping to establish eye care provisions closer to peoples’ homes. The funding will mean an extra £600,000 for primary eye care services, accessible through Eye Health Examination Wales (EHEW).

Eye Health Examination Wales makes eye examinations and consultations available free to children under 16, students, adults over 60, diabetes and glaucoma sufferers, low income families, families on income or disability support and particularly at-risk individuals. It is a provision that is unique to Wales, and is significantly improving eye health in Wales.

 “I am delighted that eye care groups in each of the seven Health Boards in Wales now have the opportunity to look closely at how eye care services are delivered.”

Dr. Barbara Ryan, Chief Optometric Adviser

The hope is that the funding will create a strong, highly trained primary care workforce in Wales, which can deliver service to the local community, greatly reducing our dependence on hospital based care.

“This new funding will also see more follow-up eye appointments provided closer to patients’ homes instead of in a hospital setting.”

Professor Mark Drakeford

This will free up space in hospital ophthalmology departments, and reduce the backlog of patients awaiting eye treatment. There will also be some provision in the future for increasing the capacity of ophthalmology wards across Wales, so that patients requiring specialist ophthalmic treatment can receive it as soon as possible.

“I am pleased that eye care really is moving towards the top of the priority lists for all health boards.”

Norma Davies, Chairman of Optometry Wales

This is a major step forward for Welsh eyecare. Individuals in deprived areas will now receive the eye health support they need, and ophthalmic treatment will be available quickly to those that really need it.

We offer free eye tests to individuals eligible through Eye Health Examination Wales. Call in to one of our branches – Cardigan, Pembroke Dock or Narberth – and make an appointment.