Thanks to the Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service (PEARS) in Telford, a local man’s sight was saved following a visit to Specsavers in Telford.
Foundry worker Kevin Hooper, aged 57, visited the opticians after experiencing flashing lights, floaters and slight discomfort in his left eye. Having worn specs for at least 40 years and regularly visiting the opticians, he did not think it was anything too serious.
‘I called Specsavers in Telford and they got me in for a PEARS appointment the following day,’ said Kevin. ‘I was seen by a very friendly and professional member of staff who made me feel at ease.’
Jagdeep Singh, optometrist at Specsavers in Telford, noticed a horseshoe shaped tear in the corner of Kevin’s left eye during his eye examination so referred him to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where he was diagnosed with a retinal tear.
‘I cannot praise the team enough,’ continued Kevin. ‘Jag managed to get me an emergency appointment at the hospital that same afternoon. I’m so grateful to the team here at Specsavers for the exceptional service and quick referral.’
Following laser eye surgery, Kevin is symptom free and during a recent follow-up appointment, Jagdeep confirmed that everything was back to normal.
‘It was lucky that Kevin came in when he did,’ says Jagdeep. ‘We are so relieved that he has recovered so quickly. If his left eye was left untreated this could have led to blindness. Hopefully this highlights the importance of eye tests – whether there are any symptoms or not.’
Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service
Funded by the NHS, the Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service (PEARS), enables customers experiencing acute eye conditions to book assessments in practices for a variety of eye problems. With PEARS qualified optometrists, customers are able to choose a convenient time that suits them at a number of accredited practices in the area to allow convenient access to care in the local community.
Vinay Najran, store director at Specsavers Telford, is a head of enhanced optical services (EOS) and a lead assessor at Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre (WOPEC) where he has been part of the accreditations of hundreds of optometrists.
Vinay commented: ‘We encourage everyone to have their eyes tested at least once every two years. With PEARS, we often identify conditions that can be managed in store, but if it’s more serious, like our recent case with Kevin, we make a referral to a suitable specialist immediately.
‘As well as giving expert advice and making relevant referrals when needed, this service takes some of the strain away from GPs who are already under great pressure.’
Research published by Specsavers and charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), shows one in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime despite at least half of all cases being avoidable. The statistics also show that 300 people in the UK start living with sight loss every day.