Northern Ireland

Key points

  • The Delivering Together 2026 blueprint has been introduced by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to improve the access to, and outcomes from, health and social care services – including eye care. This includes a six-commitment elective care plan; one commitment is to improve local access in the community and a second is to improve communications within health care providers, both primary and secondary.
  • Electronic referral has helped efficient referral directly into secondary care.
  • Local enhanced Services (LES) have been introduced and have helped to reduce referral rates in line with revised NICE guidance on suspect glaucoma and ocular hypertension by around 70%.  
  • LES2 allows accredited optometrists to provide further assessment services for suspect glaucoma and OHT patients.
  • The ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) project allows case discussion, learning and teaching among optometrists and specialists to improve care services.