The first group of Independent Prescriber (IP) optometrists in Northern Ireland have started to receive their NHS prescription pads from the Northern Ireland Health Board. Among the first to get their prescription pads was optometrist and AOP councillor, Brian McKeown (pictured).
Mr McKeown said: “It’s fantastic to be able to provide this service, especially in more remote areas.” Speaking about the IP course, he added: “[It] enhanced my skills to help diagnose and treat my patients, giving them faster access in the community and having a prescription pad means less letters to the GP asking for them to prescribe on my behalf.”
Chairman of Optometry Northern Ireland, David Barnes, said: “Optometry Northern Ireland is delighted to see increasing numbers of optometrists achieving their IP qualifications. Via the Developing Eye Care Partnerships Strategy, we are working with our allied health professions to develop emerging roles and responsibilities for IP trained optometrists.
“We hope that the success of these initiatives coupled with greater numbers of optometrists gaining this further qualification can result in future opportunities for the profession.”
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