The end of April saw the launch of the Eye Emergency Resource Pack to the profession after months of development and production. This has been a really enjoyable process developing the content for these packs and watching the design come together with a lot of help from ‘Jamfrog Design’ near Inverness.
The initial response from those who have seen or purchased the packs has been really positive and am hoping that this will become an integral piece of kit in practices in order to help with the very first stages of patient contact in urgent and emergency situations.
Optometry continues to push forward as a profession and is gaining more responsibility in becoming the first point of contact for patients with eye conditions. Across the UK there various schemes and contracts which place this emphasis on frontline role such as MECS, PEARS and the GOS contract in Scotland to name a few. I developed the Eye Emergency Resource Pack in recognition of the crucial role the ‘front of practice’ staff play, such as dispensing opticians, ophthalmic assistants and reception staff, as the very first point of contact for the patient. When someone suffers a serious eye condition, our joint goal is for that patient to be seen as quickly as possible and to gain the best treatment, in order to achieve the best outcome possible. That journey starts with the first staff member they speak to in the practice, so if they can be alert to these situations and record key information for the optometrist to triage, this can be invaluable. The pack supports this with the Eye Emergency Cards, to aid awareness, and the Eye Triage Note Pad to collate key information. Finally the pack includes a staff training scenario booklet, so that these situations can be discussed in small group training and to keep this all fresh for practice staff.
To date I have been publicising these packs across forums on social media, and have been gaining really good feedback and interest.
Recently I had the following comment with Nicholas Rumney, on Linkedin and with his permission I share it here. It has been great to get this kind of endorsement on the packs and the concept behind them.
“Now that I have seen this it’s absolutely amazing. I can think of a few optoms and DOs where it might focus decision making and remind them of a wider role but for support staff who are triaging emergency, MECS, PEARS. We are going to find it invaluable.”
On 23rd May I am delivering a webinar to Sightcare/Storm members on the Eye Emergency Packs and how to use them, which will also be great to connect with colleagues in this forum.
Other interest has come from some a couple of health boards considering getting these packs for optometry and GP practices in their area, along with the pharmacy sector showing interest in a ‘red-eye’ card.
It has been a great start for the Eye Emergency Resource Pack and am very grateful for all the positive feedback and orders to date. If you want to learn more about the packs have a look at the dedicated page on the optometry-evolution website, while packs and replacement elements of it can be ordered on the shop area.
I am always grateful for any feedback and ideas on how this can be improved for the future – so please email firstname.lastname@example.org .