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Glaucoma plan gets go ahead in Wales.

Byline: TOM BODDEN

NEW methods to spot and treat patients with glaucoma will be trialled in Wales.

Health minister Edwina Hart announced a pilot schemes in two areas for ophthalmic diagnostic centres will evaluate the feasibility of diagnosis in the community.

Subject to the outcome of the pilot, plans will be developed to roll it out across Wales.

Optometrists at two centres - in Barry and Llandeilo - will be selected to perform the diagnostic tests and ophthalmologists will be available at hospital to view this information and data electronically and recommend treatment as required.

The pilots will run for six months, with the pounds 181,800 cost funded by the Assembly Government.

Mrs Hart said: "It is important that patients receive swift access to diagnosis to determine the best course of treatment.

"Initially, the pilot will provide the mechanism for patients with stable glaucoma or ocular hypertension to be followed up in the community, close to home.

"This will avoid unnecessary hospital outpatient visits."

Glaucoma and ocular hypertension account for the largest group of patients, 30,000, requiring regular, long-term management for eye disease.

It is also the commonest cause of irreversible, yet preventable, blindness.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 24, 2009
Words:194
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