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Case Study: Primary Eye Care Support for Stroke Prevention in Cheshire

26 October 2021


Optometrists in Cheshire have been taking part in a lifesaving trial to help detect a condition known as Atrial Fibrillation (AF).

AF is the most common cause of an irregular heartbeat and early identification is essential. AF often has no symptoms and those with the condition are five times more likely to suffer a stroke.

In a study funded by NHS England in conjunction with Cheshire East ICP and Cheshire LOC selected optometrists were asked to test patients for the condition to reduce rates of stroke across East Cheshire.

The practices were issued with a heart monitor that linked up with a mobile phone app that read the ECG and the results were immediately available.

Those patients with a result of suspected AF were given some printed information and advised to see their GP for further investigation.

Screening patients in optometric practices eases the burden on GP surgeries. This is especially important during the pandemic when GP provision is under enormous pressure.

“During Covid, GP’s visits have been restrictive for the public, so taking the opportunity to check the AF of patients over 60 years of age whilst attending for an eye care appointment is a great way of providing additional support. Of the 100 patients tested at our practice 12 were found to have abnormalities, this highlights the great importance of this process.”

Jill Umpleby, CET Officer, Cheshire LOC

Read the case study here

LOCs who wish to find out more and explore the possibility of a service of this kind for their area should contact their LOCSU Optical Lead.

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