An evaluation of optometric advanced skills within a UK tertiary based setting

Anish Jindal, Safwana Abdulrasid , Padraig Mulholland, Vijay Anand, Dilani Siriwardena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Hospital-based optometrists are undertaking extended roles across ophthalmology that may require them to perform advanced skills (AS). Moorfields Eye Hospital (MEH) is the largest UK employer of hospital-based optometrists, it was sought to investigate which AS are being performed at this centre and how they align to the four pillars of advanced clinical practice (ACP). An online survey was sent to MEH optometrists in May 2022 that asked about professional status, sub-specialties worked, qualifications, acquisition and validation of AS, research and leadership. Ninety-six optometrists with mean post-qualification experience was 16.2 years (SD 10.4) responded to the survey. There were 84 AS that covered clinical, leadership and research, with respondents achieving a mean of 11.8 (SD 10.3). Those with independent prescribing (IP) qualifications (n = 52) had a higher number of AS compared to non-IP optometrists (p = 0.03). There were 68 clinical AS across the sub-specialties (23 clinical AS were common in ≥2 sub-specialties), 49 out of 120 clinical AS could be performed by at least 60% of staff. Twenty-six optometrists identified with leadership, 56 had undertaken research/audit, 27 had published within a peer-reviewed journal and half of the time spent in active research was funded. AS are being performed by optometrists within a tertiary eye hospital that supports ACP. IP optometrists had higher self-reported AS but current educational frameworks don't accommodate for some AS. Targeted AS courses with competency-based sign-off may further support high-quality patient care. Further research is required on how advanced care practitioners can support workforce transformation. [Abstract copyright: © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Early online date13 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 13 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank service leads for their help in devising and disseminating the questionnaire amongst staff. This work was supported in part by the National Institute for Health & Care Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (PJM). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.


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