A pioneering Derbyshire optometry project has caught the eye of national award judges leading to county health professionals being shortlisted for a prestigious honour.
The Health Service Journal (HSJ) has shortlisted NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for the ‘Using Technology to Improve Efficiency’ award.
Recognition has come for the ‘Telemedicine’ scheme, which sees opticians email photos and scans of an eye to an ophthalmology consultant, in appropriate cases, for an opinion in two to five days, instead of patients having to wait up to 12 weeks for a clinic appointment.
It is the only service of its kind in the country and has improved efficiency and saved local health services £80k so far.
The new way of working, which launched in 2014, has been adopted by 12 southern Derbyshire optometry practices and has prevented almost 700 first outpatient referrals. This frees up clinical time for patients who do need to see a consultant within six weeks.
NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust professionals will face a judging panel in London on Wednesday 11 October to answer questions and give a presentation. They face competition from nine other shortlisted organisations in the category. The award winner will be announced at the HSJ awards in on Wednesday 22 November.