Drive to increase HCQ Screening/Monitoring in Primary Care

20 June 2019

In February 2018 the Royal College of Ophthalmologists published Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine Retinopathy: Recommendations on Screening. The document made recommendations which created new activity that many overstretched ophthalmology departments cannot manage. Resultingly, in many areas commissioners and trusts are turning to primary care for support. LOCSU welcomes the opportunity for optical practices to become involved in the delivery of this service. The primary care workforce can help support and are acutely aware of the need to prioritise appointments within Medical retina clinics.

LOCs are being asked to consider how optical practices can help address current capacity pressures within ophthalmology and in turn LOCs are turning to LOCSU for support. The newly published Hydroxychloroquine Pathway offers an integrated service delivery model with data collection in primary care and virtual review by a consultant ophthalmologist; this best meets the RCOphth guidelines whilst at the same time supporting a whole system approach. The pathway focuses on early intervention as with the advent of new technology we are able to identify patients at risk of sight loss at an earlier stage.

This pathway is a perfect example of how Primary care can work in a more integrated way with the hospital eye service to support a system wide approach for the delivery of eye health services. LOCs are encouraged to engage with local CCGs and other commissioners and in this process engage with the new LOCSU Optical Lead team who are able to help facilitate discussions and co-ordinate any response needed both at a local and regional level.

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