Community Eye Care project wins innovation award

L-R: Joe Nazarian (optometrist), Clinical A/Prof Andrew White (Westmead ophthalmologist), representative of Baxter Health, Belinda Ford (C-EYE-C Service Coordinator and PhD candidate), Margaret Nguyen (optometrist), Jackie van der Hout (Ophthalmology Administration manager)

A project in Western Sydney supported by researchers from The George Institute has been recognised for innovation in delivering integrated care.

Community Eye Care (C-EYE-C), led by Associate Professor Andrew White, improves access to eye assessment for patients with low risk glaucoma and diabetic eye disease. The project partners with local optometrists to conduct standardised assessments which are remotely reviewed by ophthalmologists at Westmead Hospital. Last night C-EYE-C won the 2017 NSW Health Innovation award for Delivering Integrated Care. 

The George Institute’s Associate Professor Lisa Keay and PhD student Belinda Ford worked closely with Western Sydney LHD's Westmead Ophthalmology department to support the planning, implementation and evaluation of C-EYE-C. The three month pilot results showed that 47% of patients did not need a hospital appointment for follow up, which led to a seven-week reduction in waiting lists for the busy ophthalmology outpatient department.

Belinda Ford said: “This award is great recognition for a truly innovative project that’s really helping people. It’s an example of how hospital and community based health care can work together to improve care."