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Revolutionising Glaucoma Care in Edinburgh: A Community-Based Approach


Residents of Edinburgh dealing with glaucoma will shortly have the opportunity to receive support locally, eliminating the need for hospital visits, courtesy of an innovative NHS healthcare initiative.

The Community Glaucoma Service by NHS Scotland successfully trialled in Glasgow previously, is set to expand to the capital following the selection of key independent prescribing optometrists across the city to implement the program.

Michael O’Kane, clinical director of Specsavers in Cameron Toll and Morningside, is one of a handful of opticians across the country who has successfully completed an SQA qualification in Glaucoma Management.

The certificate will allow him to treat people with lower-risk glaucoma or treated ocular hypertension in his practices in the city, rather than in a hospital as soon as NHS Lothian rolls out the scheme.

It’s hoped the initiative will help alleviate pressure on NHS services in the long term.

‘After 300 hours of training, clinical placements and studying, I’m delighted to have gained this qualification which will allow me to deliver this revolutionary eyecare service to patients in our community.

‘This qualification means I’ll be able to manage patient’s medications and continue to provide hospital-level care to people in Morningside, Cameron Toll and beyond.

‘This scheme will be of huge benefit to hundreds – if not thousands – of people right across Edinburgh, giving them faster and easier access to treatments and check-ups. I’m delighted to be a part of that.’


The flagship healthcare policy is expected to support around 20,000 patients across Scotland as it is rolled out over the next year.

‘Scotland is regarded as a world leader in community eye care service provision.

‘We are the only country in the UK to provide free universal NHS-funded eye examinations, and our investment in community optometry services has helped reduce the burden on GPs and secondary care services.’

Speaking at the time of its launch, public health minister, Jenni Minto

Michael’s qualification follows the recent relocation of his Morningside practice to 85 Morningside Road.

The new store has seen investment in the region of £750,000 and includes seven new testing rooms, including a fully wheelchair-accessible test room and diagnostics area, and two Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) machines, which allows optometrists to take a 3D image of the back of the eye to help spot serious eye conditions – including glaucoma – up to four years earlier.

The store also features two digital slit lamps and a host of state-of-the-art technology which allows opticians to identify the type of glaucoma a patient is living with.

‘Timely diagnosis and treatment are essential and so our increased testing capacity and state-of-the-art diagnostic machines will allow our expert team to quickly identify any problems that may be detected.’


Specsavers Morningside, located at 85 Morningside Road, is open from 9am – 6:30pm Monday to Thursday, 9am – 6pm Friday and Saturday and 10am – 6pm every Sunday.

To book an appointment, call the store directly on 0131 446 9960 or visit: www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/morningside.

Specsavers Cameron toll, located within Cameron Toll Shopping Centre, is open from 9am – 6pm every Monday to Wednesday and Friday to Saturday, 9am – 6:30pm every Thursday and 10am – 6pm every Sunday.

To book an appointment, call the store directly on 0131 672 9210 or visit: www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/camerontoll

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