A new qualification has been launched for ophthalmic support staff. The Advanced Professional Ophthalmic Care Diploma – Level 5 will recognise the skills of healthcare assistants and nursing staff who work with ophthalmic surgeons to deliver advanced eye care.
Optical Express, the UK’s largest provider of laser eye surgery, premium intraocular lens surgery and private cataract surgery, is launching the new diploma together with its partner ACES, an independent provider of NHS eye care services in the community. The new qualification is being backed by the two eye care providers as part of their joint investment in the professional development of clinical teams.
The diploma is being designed and delivered in partnership with Healthcare Skills Training International and will be accredited by EduQual. It will be internationally recognised, allowing those who qualify to take their skills around the world. Training towards the diploma will be open to every member of eyecare surgery teams, including but not limited to healthcare assistants.
Stephen Hannan, Clinical Services Director at Optical Express, said:
“We want our colleagues to have every opportunity to learn and develop their skills. This new qualification will give all the team who support surgery the chance to grow their abilities and have their expertise recognised. By working with ACES to bring forward this new qualification, we are also aiming to ensure that private and NHS patients alike receive the best possible eye care.
“This is an exciting development for both organisations and something we believe colleagues will benefit significantly from.”
Diane Irvine, CEO and Founder at Healthcare Skills Training International, said:
“In everything we do, we aim to raise medical standards and guarantee the future of patient safety. Our new Advanced Professional Ophthalmic Care Diploma – Level 5 will help to do just that. We’re incredibly proud of the course we’ve designed with Optical Express and ACES. I know that it will ensure clinical teams are consistently delivering care to the very highest of international standards, improving outcomes for patients.”
The Advanced Professional Ophthalmic Care Diploma – Level 5 has been specifically designed to meet the needs of support staff for modern ophthalmic care providers. The qualification is tailored to meet the requirements of colleagues at both Optical Express and ACES and is the first of its kind for independent providers in the UK.
Professionals undertaking the diploma will need to complete a competency-based training programme, supplemented by e-learning and formal assessments. The qualification can be achieved at the trainee’s own pace, and they will have the support of mentors and the clinical education team.