Ayrshire’s Urquhart Opticians celebrated a patient care milestone this month, and is now on track to become Scotland’s most qualified independent optometry group with five optometrists now qualified in Independent Prescribing
Clinical Director Alistair Duff has become the fifth member of the independent groups team to achieve an enhanced clinical qualification - the Independent Prescribing Diploma - which enables eyecare medication prescriptions to be issued directly without additional GP or hospital appointments.
Following a year’s study with Glasgow Caledonian University, a clinical placement with Prof. Sathish Srinivasan at Ayr Hospital, and a College of Optometrists examination, Alistair is now IP qualified joining his colleagues Lesley Smith, Neil Gray, Linda Dempsey and Fiona Black, with Urquhart’s sixth optometrist – Carol Semple – now also studying for the qualification.
Alistair, who is based in Urquhart Opticians flagship Kilmarnock practice, commented: “We believe there is only one other independent optometry group in Scotland with five IP qualified optometrists, and none in the west of the country, so this is a considerable achievement for Urquhart Opticians and reflects our focus on delivering the highest possible standards of patient care.
“The real benefit, though, is to our patients. Now, no matter which Urquhart Opticians practice you book in to, patients will be able to see an IP qualified optometrist, and should a medication prescription be required for, for example antibiotics or steroids, this can be arranged immediately with a local pharmacy and without the need to await a GP appointment or, in some instances, even a hospital appointment. Being IP qualified means we can offer faster, more convenient and enhanced care for various eye conditions, and the lockdown period really highlighted the importance of this as we adapted to video consultations and other digital solutions to continue to provide an excellent level of eyecare to all of our patients.”
Urquhart Opticians was founded over a century ago and today has practices in Kilmarnock, Ayr, Troon and Prestwick.