NHS Pharmacy First Scotland- Guidance for Community Optometry to/from Community Pharmacy Patient Referral

13 Nov 2020

Guidance and a template patient referral form for the treatment of minor eye conditions to be used by community pharmacy and community optometry has been published by Scottish Government in PCA(P)(2020)24

The guidance explains that if a pharmacy receives an optometrist’s referral for a patient including a treatment recommendation, then it should be treated in the same way a GP would accept a consultant’s assessment, with the responsibility for the choice of treatment remaining with the optometrist rather than the pharmacist supplying the product.

The pathway recommends when referring a patient from pharmacy to optometry services that the patient’s optometrist should be telephoned to check availability of examination for the patient whilst the patient is still in the pharmacy.

If a patient is referred from community optometry to community pharmacy with treatment outside the scope of NHS Pharmacy First then the patient can purchase over the counter treatment, access Pharmacy First Plus if a pharmacist independent prescriber is available or be referred to their GP by the pharmacy.

Pharmacy First treatment as recommended by the optometrist should be within the product license. The pharmacy can provide a second supply if ongoing eye treatment is determined by an optometrist to enable continuity of supply. The optometrist should request the patient’s GP to add the treatment to be repeat medication if required.

The guidance provides information on the NHS Pharmacy First service to enable appropriate referral from optometrists. There is a strong recommendation that community pharmacies and optometry practices discuss the guidance together to develop referral services between local pharmacy and optometry practices.