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Month-long eyecare campaign achieves nearly 2,000 MURs

Practice Campaign provided an opportunity for pharmacists and optometrists to work together for the benefit of patients, finds evaluation

Pharmacists in Wales made a "real difference" in the quality of eyecare for nearly 2,000 patients during a month-long campaign, an evaluation of the initiative has revealed.


Pharmacists conducted 1,933 MURs for people taking eye medication during last July's ‘Look After Your Eyes' campaign, accounting for 11 per cent of the total number of MURs carried out that month, according to the evaluation published on Wednesday (February 19).


Pharmacists also referred 431 people with eye problems for further investigation during the initiative run by Public Health Wales, Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW) and the Royal National Institute of the Blind Cymru.


The evaluation found the campaign provided an opportunity for pharmacists and optometrists to work together for the benefit of patients

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Those referred included 348 patients to an optometrist and another 83 who had more serious eye problems to the Welsh Eye Care Service (WECS). One patient was referred after seeking advice on hayfever, the evaluation revealed. The pharmacist identified unilateral symptoms and pain in the eye and the WECS found the patient had an ulcer in the left eye.


Pharmacists also told customers enquiring about eye health, buying glasses or contact solution about the importance of having regular eye examinations with their optometrist.


The campaign, which was aimed at encouraging good eyecare and helping to communicate the risk factors that can cause sight problems, had provided an opportunity for pharmacists and optometrists to work together for the benefit of patients, the report said.


CPW chairman Chris James said the campaign had shown the value of high-street services. "There is also a strong legacy to the campaign with a working relationship set up between Community Pharmacy Wales and Optometry Wales," he said.


Optometry Wales was delighted to support the "innovative" and "collaborative" way of working with pharmacists in the community," said Sali Davis, Optometry Wales' chief executive.


In September last year the Welsh government pledged to add eyecare to the national common ailments scheme, which is due to launch in 2016, and said pharmacists would receive training to raise awareness of and refer patients to other eye health services. The campaign was one of three public health campaigns pharmacies are contracted to deliver in Wales each year.



Should public health campaigns be written into the pharmacy contract elsewhere in the UK?

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