An audit on the impact of training for a referral refinement scheme in Northern Ireland

21 February 2017
Volume 18, Issue 1

This study shows that optometrists report finding additional training beneficial to their clinical practice and can be successfully trained to reduce false-positive ocular hypertensive referrals.


Glaucoma services in Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK came under significant pressure as the number of ocular hypertensive referrals to the service increased in recent years (Ratnarajan et al. 2013; Shah and Murdoch 2011). This was a result of the implementation of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical Guideline 85 in 2009, coupled with a recommendation from the Association of Optometrists that all patients presenting with repeatable intraocular pressures (IOPs) of more than 21mmHg should be referred to an ophthalmologist regardless of the type of tonometer used to make the measurement (Association of Optometrists 2010).

Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Board engaged with the Belfast Local Commissioning Group and other key stakeholders to commission a redesign of glaucoma services with the aim of refining glaucoma referrals and reducing the false-positive referrals which were flooding the hospital eye service (HES).

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Develop your glaucoma decision-making and management skills with our CET and CPD

As the world observes World Glaucoma Week (12-18 March), the College wants to highlight the resources we offer to help optometrists provide the best possible care to their patients with glaucoma.

In this live webinar, Patrick Gunn will talk about what to look out for when examining the optic disc and explain how to use technology effectively to support the management of glaucoma suspects.