Local Community Services

Durham LOC has been working with local NHS Commissioning Groups to encourage delivery of more routine and minor emergency eyecare in community optical practices.

The aim of this is to free up capacity in the hospital and to help cope with increasing demand from both the ageing population and new technologies.

Here in Durham community optical practices are successfully and safely delivering enhanced services as part of local eye care pathways which link into the hospital as appropriate.

This means that patients with a range of eye health problems are assessed by specially trained community optometrists situated in local practices, without the need to travel to hospital. This is the main advantage of this service, as getting to and negotiating a large hospital may be daunting, especially for old or frail patients.

Other benefits include:

  • Increased choice for patients – they may be able to attend a practice close to home, or one with which they are familiar.
  • Speedy assessment – many practices can offer appointments within a few days.
  • Convenient appointment times – many practices can offer weekend or evening appointments.
  • Explanation of eye problems – most optometrists will have time to discuss eye health problems with the patient, and to answer questions, providing valuable reassurance.

 A list of participating practices can be found here.