Primary Eyecare Acute Referral Scheme
The PEARS scheme is a self referral scheme for patients with acute eye problems. There are a number of opticians within Huddersfield and Halifax who are members of this national scheme and patients can request to be seen at any participating optician, even if it is not their usual optician.
The aim of the Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service pathway is to:
- Reduce unnecessary referrals to the hospital eye services
- Reduce patient anxiety and increase capacity within the overburdened hospital eye health services
- Provide a more cost effective service with a greater number of patients being managed within the primary care setting
Summary of the PEARS pathway
- A PEARS examination will provide a speedy assessment of the needs of a patient presenting with an eye condition
- The examination will be undertaken by an accredited optometrist within suitably equipped premises who will manage the patient appropriately and safely
- Management will be maintained within the primary care setting for as many patients as possible, thus avoiding unnecessary referrals to hospital services
- Where referral to secondary care is required it will be to a suitable specialist with appropriate urgency
- Patients can self-refer or be referred by GPs, pharmacists or other optometrists – Calderdale and Kirklees LOC
So when seeing patients with simple eye problems, such as simple corneal abrasions, it is acceptable to direct them to PEARS in case of worsening symptoms rather than returning to the ED.
Patients who require routine or urgent review by ophthalmology as per departmental guidelines will still need to be referred and assessed through this pathway at present.
Patient information leaflet is available here, with a list of participating opticians.