News 17th March 2022

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Gareth Bulpin win the Glaucoma UK ‘Excellence in Glaucoma Care Awards’

Glaucoma UK’s annual ‘Excellence in Glaucoma Care Awards’ are designed to celebrate the wonderful work being done in glaucoma care. The winner and the runner up for the charity’s 2022 awards are shining examples of the latest innovations and excellence in patient care.

Gareth Bulpin accepting the Excellence in Glaucoma Care winner's award

Glaucoma UK is delighted to announce that the winners of the award this year are Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) Primary Care Optometry and Secondary Care Glaucoma Teams and Gareth Bulpin, National Architect for Eye Care Digitisation.

Cardiff and Vale UHB and Gareth Bulpin responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing a new Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and electronic referral system for eye care in Wales, the first national system of its kind.

The new system enables optometrists with additional glaucoma qualifications to assess glaucoma patients, and upload eye images and results to the EPR within the secure NHS network. The record is then viewed virtually by a hospital consultant and a decision made on the next steps for the patient’s care. The new system brings a host of benefits to the patient. For many glaucoma patients, the new system allowed them to choose an appointment time that suited them, in a location closer to their home and, importantly, it enabled them to be seen quicker than in a traditional eye care model where patients attend a hospital eye clinic for every appointment.

As a patient myself, I clearly understand the trauma of lost sight.

Gareth Bulpin, who accepted the award on behalf of the project team, lost sight in his left eye following a stroke and quickly identified an acute sector that could not simply cope with the demand of our aging community. He was inspired by his own experiences to come out of retirement and lead the project, with the aim of improving the experiences of other critical eye patients. He said “this is by far the best award to win and means the most. The reason for that is that it’s from patients to a patient. As a patient myself, I clearly understand the trauma of lost sight.” Speaking about the impact the project has had Gareth said, “this work is saving the sight of the residents of Cardiff and Vale, it’s that simple. It’s saved some sight, however, there’s still more work to be done”.

For my patients to nominate me has been a real honour.

Rashmi Mathew, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, was awarded runner-up after being nominated by a number of her glaucoma patients for her outstanding care and kindness. One nominee shared that Ms Mathew had given them “confidence in dealing with the condition” as she “takes the time to assess your personal needs and gives attention to any concerns that are raised”. Rashmi Mathew said, “I do really try and look after my patients. It’s a real partnership. For my patients to nominate me has been a real honour.”

Glaucoma UK is grateful to everyone who took the time to submit their nomination for the awards. It was heartening to see the number of nominations growing each year for teams and individuals working hard to improve care for glaucoma patients.

The charity has confirmed that nominations for its 2023 awards are now open and is welcoming nominations for an individual or team from any field of glaucoma care. Find out more on the Glaucoma UK website at glaucoma.uk/glaucoma-care-awards.


 

About Glaucoma UK: Glaucoma UK is the charity for people with glaucoma. We’re here for people with glaucoma and their loved ones. We campaign to raise awareness so glaucoma is detected early and can be treated, we support people to live well with glaucoma and we fund sight-saving research.

We are a membership organisation, and those living with glaucoma are at the very heart of all we do. We support people to live well with glaucoma by providing a telephone helpline, glaucoma support groups, peer support services and widely acclaimed information booklets.

For more information, please visit our website glaucoma.uk

Glaucoma helpline: 01233 64 81 70 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm).

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