Community to see benefit from enhanced service
People suffering with eye conditions can visit Specsavers in Longton where staff at the store can provide the expert knowledge and skills to assess and carry out, or recommend appropriate treatment.
The store employs a number of opticians who have been accredited under the Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service (PEARS) to provide the service.
Funded by the NHS, customers experiencing a range of acute eye conditions are entitled to assessments at the store, following referrals by their GP, pharmacist, local minor injuries clinic or non-accredited optometrists.
PEARS is a free service available to all patients registered with a Staffordshire GP. It is designed for the assessment and treatment of recently occurring medical eye conditions, like; red, dry or gritty eyes, sudden onset of irritation or inflammation of the eye, significant recent sticky discharge from the eye, flashes and floaters which have suddenly started or increased or sudden reduced vision. The service is provided by opticians with the specialist knowledge and skills who have sat a further qualification in PEARS to become accredited to carry out this work at local opticians.
Judy Lea, optometrist and store director, said: 'This is a very valuable service we are able to offer customers. With GP's time under increasing pressure, it enables us to quickly assess the needs of those who come to see us who have acute eye conditions. It’s often the case that these conditions can be managed, but if we need to refer the customer on – we can organise it with a suitable specialist and with the appropriate urgency.’