Glaucoma drive through assessment centre

26th May 2020
IOP Drive Through sign

A new, innovative approach to providing continued assessment and monitoring of patients with glaucoma during the Covid-19 pandemic has been established at our drive through facility in the Shankill Wellbeing Centre.

Providing continued assessment and monitoring for patients with glaucoma during the Covid-19 pandemic is necessary to mitigate the risk of sight loss and ensure that patients receive the timely treatment they may require. To date, more than 100 patients have had their condition monitored at the facility.

Sarah Henderson, Sister at the Glaucoma Centre, said: “We wanted to provide a safe service for patients and staff. A lot of our patients are elderly and shielding, so it made sense to come to them through a drive-through clinic, which hopefully will reassure patients.

“We phone the patients before they come up and advise them about what is going to happen on the day. Patients then drive into the marquee and we perform a quick pressure check. After a few days, patients are advised over the phone what their pressure was and how this fares with their treatment.”

Monitoring the pressure in a patient’s eye through a hand-held machine provides an accurate reading on how the condition has progressed and allows us to triage patients for further treatment or appointments as necessary. The process also provides peace of mind for patients who know that the condition is not going unchecked and the risk of sight loss is considerably decreased.

Patients are invited for testing regularly depending on clinical need and are not required to leave their car throughout the test, which takes less than one minute. The test is carried out by nurses from our ophthalmology service who have being wearing PPE throughout the Covid pandemic in line with national guidance.

Declan McClements, Interim Service Manager, added: “The pressures we are checking will help us identify patients who need time-critical treatment and this will ensure they receive that.”