In June 2016, it was recognised there was a need for a service which offered patients, presenting with non-urgent eye conditions, a diagnosis outside of a hospital setting. Such a service would see greater management and access of minor eye conditions within the primary care (GP) setting by encouraging self-referral by patients via sign-posting and from GPs.
The CCG was extremely fortunate to have an expert-by-experience, Mark Sanders, who also works for Birmingham Sight Loss Council, join the project group. Mark was instrumental in the development of the service specification, as well as the evaluation of the tender bids from potential providers of the service.
Mark’s representation of his, and other members of the visually impaired community's experiences, was integral in commissioning a service that aims to meet the needs of patients. The service went live in October 2018.