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Case Study: Access to FP10s for Optometrists With an Independent Prescribing Qualification

15 August 2022

Our latest case study reviews the access independent prescribing (IP) optometrists working in urgent eyecare have to FP10 prescribing pads.

Access to FP10s enables IP optometrists to treat and manage patients fully within the primary care setting, who would otherwise have needed to be referred to hospital eye service or involve the GP with prescription request.

But IP Optometrists access to FP10 pads across the country is variable depending on local agreement, although this is now improving. A survey carried out by LOCSU in April 2021 showed that only 27% of CCGs who had commissioned either MECS or CUES had also enabled access to FP10 pads for the local IP Optometrists within the service.

Gemma McDermott, who is an IP Optometrist in Yorkshire, said:

“After completing the IP course in February 2021, I was frustrated to find out that I could not fully utilise my prescribing skills as I could not access an FP10 prescription form. This is particularly an issue when the patient is exempt from NHS prescription charges as many are unwilling or unable to pay privately for their prescription. Therefore, I have to refer the patient to Ophthalmology or to their GP to access the medication, which is a waste of time and money both for the NHS and the patient.”

Our case study looks at how the past 12 months has seen a significant shift in the access to FP10’s for IP optometrists in areas that have CUES or MECS commissioned.

You can see the full case study here.

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