The influence of the new general ophthalmic services (GOS) contract in optometrist referrals for glaucoma in Scotland

G.S. Ang, W.S. Ng, A. Azuara-Blanco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To assess the quality of referrals from community optometrists in the northeast of Scotland to the hospital glaucoma service before and after the implementation of the new General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) contract in Scotland. Methods: Retrospective study encompassing two 6-month periods, one before the implementation of the new GOS (Scotland) contract in April 2006 (from June to November 2005), and the other after (from June to November 2006). The community optometrist referral forms and hospital glaucoma service notes were reviewed. Comparisons were performed using the t-test and ?- test. Results: In all, 183 referrals were made during the first 6-month period from June to November 2005, and 120 referrals were made during the second 6-month period from June to November 2006. After the introduction of the new GOS contract, there was a statistically significant increase in true-positive referrals (from 18.0 to 31.7%; P=0.006), decrease in false-positive referrals (from 36.6 to 31.7%; P=0.006), and increase in the number of referrals with information on applanation tonometry (from 11.8 to 50.0%; P=0.000), dilated fundal examination (from 2.2 to 24.2%; P=0.000), and repeat visual fields (from 14.8 to 28.3%; P=0.004) when compared to the first 6-month period. However, only 41.7% of referrals fulfilled the new GOS contract requirements, with information on applanation tonometry the most commonly missing. Conclusions: After the implementation of the new GOS (Scotland) contract in April 2006, there has been an improvement in the quality of the glaucoma referrals from the community optometrists in the northeast of Scotland, with a corresponding reduction in false-positive referrals. Despite the relatively positive effect so far, there is still scope for further improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-355
Number of pages5
JournalEye
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2009

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