Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
On 24 April 2023, I published a written statement launching a consultation about the reform of primary care ophthalmic services in Wales. The consultation, which closed on 19 June, proposed expanding the services delivered by primary care optometry providers and launched the new optometry contract terms of service.
I value the responses and comments to the consultation – these have been carefully considered – and thank everyone who took the opportunity to participate.
The overarching focus of the reform is to help relieve pressure on hospital-based eye services by increasing the range of services delivered closer to home in primary care optometric practices. Moving more eye care services into primary care optometry, where there is a skilled workforce with the capacity to respond to growing patient demand, is both a viable and sustainable solution.
These proposals have received broad support and I will be moving forward to implement the commitments in the NHS Wales Eye Healthcare: Future Approach for Optometry Services by making the necessary changes to the regulations.
This will secure higher-quality services and improved outcomes for people; deliver positive benefits for healthcare professionals and will usher in a new system-wide approach for the delivery of ophthalmic services across NHS Wales.
These changes are part of a much broader set of strengthened governance arrangements in NHS Wales and increased access and improved quality in eye healthcare aligned to A Healthier Wales and our Programme for Government commitments, which relate to delivering better access to healthcare professionals.