Taunton MP checks out ‘sight saving’ NHS scheme
Taunton Deane MP, Jeremy Brown, took time to visit a Taunton Opticians last Saturday,
(29-1-11) to see the benefits of a new NHS urgent eye care service.
NHS Somerset is working with optometrists in Taunton and across the county to extend their NHS funded eye assessment service known as ACES. (Acute Community Eye Care Service).
The free service is for local NHS patients experiencing a recent eye problem such as reduced vision, red or painful eyes, flashes or floaters, double vision or watering of the eye. Patients need to be registered with a Somerset GP and can be sure their problem will be diagnosed by skilled and accredited optometrists.
Earlam and Christopher Opticians in Taunton’s Bridge Street are just one of many optometrists participating in the scheme and who are already helping patients with sudden eye problems or concerns get the treatment and advice they need.
Patients like Wendy Head from Wellington. Wendy is an artist but just 10 days ago she became anxious after she started seeing white patches in her vision as she worked at her home computer. A phone call to her GP soon had her directed to the ACES service at Earlam and Christopher Opticians.
In less than 24 hours she had had a thorough test by Optometrist, Sarah Farrant, who was able to reassure her the problem was stress related and did not represent a threat to her sight.
“The ACES services was so quick and reassuring”, said Wendy. “Your sight is precious and as an artist I depend upon my sight for my work. I was so pleased to know I could have my eyes checked for free and delighted when I found out it was nothing serious.”
Sarah Farrant’s advice to anyone who finds they are suddenly experiencing a problem with their sight is to get it checked out immediately.
“The NHS ACES scheme has already proven to be a sight saver for a number of local patients and in most cases you will be seen within 24 hours. It’s funded by the NHS and aims to help people get rapid access to treatment or the information they need”, said Sarah.
The ACES service is free to any patient registered with a Somerset GP and is provided by skilled accredited optometrists through opticians participating in the new scheme.
Patients can access the services by either enquiring at a local optometrists or by asking for details from their GP. Appointments are available during normal working hours and patients will normally be seen within 24 hours.
Optometrists participating in the ACES scheme will have the ACES eye logo on the door.
Details of participating practices can also be found at: www.somerset.nhs.uk/ACES