Patients joined the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust’s eye team and local GPs and nurses, optometrists, and junior doctors on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 May at a special Acute Ophthalmic Emergencies Course.
The course is designed to raise awareness, educate and enhance Primary Care (GP) Eye Practitioners’ skills and knowledge, to help them improve their patient care.
Held at the Prince Charles Eye Unit (PCEU) in Windsor, the two day programme organised by Dr Mital Shah, Ophthalmology trainee, Mr Sumith Perera, Ophthalmology consultant and Dr Lucia Derriman, Speciality Doctor Ophthalmology provided delegates with an opportunity to discuss a range of eye conditions and diseases with experts, and to take part in a series of practical sessions with real patients designed to give GPs and nurses experience of conducting eye examinations.
Trevor Wilson, an ex-medical emergency technician and regular patient at the eye unit, was only too happy to volunteer his time and explained: “I have diabetic retinopathy which has caused the complete loss of sight in my left eye and partially in my right. I attend the eye unit every week and was delighted to be able to support the team who take such good care of me. Having been a medic myself I know there is nothing more helpful than hands-on experience when trying to learn or improve your understanding of medical conditions and I hope the delegates found it useful.”
Local GP, Dr Rachel Aldridge of Brookside Surgery in Reading, said she attended the course to increase her confidence in eye examination: “It has been a very worthwhile two days. Having the opportunity to discuss, examine and ask questions of both clinicians and patients has been invaluable. The balance of presentations and practical sessions worked well and I definitely feel more knowledgeable and confident in this area now.”
Dr Derriman was delighted the course was so well received and believes it is the only course of its kind in the UK that has ‘real’ patients with genuine eye conditions, available for delegates to examine.
“Feedback from attendees reflects how valuable it is to have patients to examine to enhance learning, so we are very grateful and thank those who gave up their time to help. I would also like to thank the Ophthamology team and all those who gave their time voluntarily for helping to make this course possible.
“This was the second Acute Ophthalmic Emergencies Course run by the PCEU and is accredited by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. We are already looking forward to planning the next course and are hopeful that our efforts will continue to help us improve the standards of ophthalmic care which will benefit all patients.”