In December 2001 a general practitioner (GP) referral scheme was set up within the former North Charnwood Primary Care Group locality to improve the service to patients with ophthalmic problems. In the first year of the scheme,113 patients were referred to accredited optometrists by their GP. Of those, 84 (74%) were treated by the optometrists, 21 (19%) were referred tocasualty, and the other eight (7%) were referred on for specialist opinion. Audit revealed the project to be an unreserved success, especially amongst the patients. Referrals are examined locally, usually on the same day, thereby saving up to six months’ wait for a hospital appointment.
David P Austen