Get your eyes tested! – National Eye Health Week

This morning i was pleased to support National Eye Health Week with a visit to Specsavers on Merthyr Tydfil High Street. This is one of many local optometry services that provide vital services as around 2,000 people in the constituency live with sight loss.

We should all have an eye test every two years – so this was a timely reminder for me to book my next eye test!

The services provided by our local optometrists are really important in terms of maintaining eye health and managing conditions.

Like many other optometrists they are part of the Wales Eye Care Services which means patients seen under the scheme may have eye problems of an acute nature, be those who find losing their sight particularly difficult (eg hearing impaired) or those who are at increased risk of developing sight threatening conditions.In this branch they also provide pre and post cataract surgery care, glaucoma referral refinement and low vision services. This was impressive as referrals are made to them which can deliver a service in the local community rather than waiting on a referral to a secondary service in a hospital.

I took the chance to discuss the contractual arrangements for optometry services and how a revised contract focussed more on prevention could be of benefit – I recall that I had a parallel discussion with local dental services. This local business employs nearly 40 staff and carries out some 15,000 routine eye tests per year so it is an important part of local health and care services. I was also pleased to meet the apprentices taken on by this business and to hear of their success in training people for a career in optometry.



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