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New AOP guidance sheds light on over-referrals

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New AOP guidance sheds light on over-referrals

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has produced new guidance and an infographic to explain why some eye diseases have high levels of “false positive” referrals of patients to hospital.

The guidance shows that optometrists in community practice are already very good at identifying low prevalence diseases, such as glaucoma. But they could cut the number of false positive referrals, and reduce pressure on overstretched hospital eye departments if NHS England funded more tests and checks in primary care. The guidance shows how high false positive referral rates are inevitable where a disease only affects a small proportion of people. It will be used to improve understanding of eye disease referral rates among decision-makers and the health sector, as well as within optics itself.