Training the Next Generation
Can the pharma industry help upskill Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) working in ophthalmology?
| 3 min read
sponsored by Roche
Currently it can be argued that there is a lack of training and education programmes for ophthalmologists and AHPs working in ophthalmology about the latest advances in the presentation and management of key retina conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular odema (DMO).
There is often too little time allotted for training for Allied Health Professionals (AHP) at their hospitals and there are not enough accredited courses available.
Roche, pioneers in healthcare and one of the world’s largest biotech companies – is no stranger to issues faced by those working in the area, keenly aware that training opportunities should be expanded to help upskill not only ophthalmologists but also AHPs working in ophthalmology. Aiming to tackle these gaps in training, Roche has begun to host multiple training programmes, both globally and in the UK.
One example is where the company has worked with Moorfields Eye Hospital in London to review and localise recommendations made by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists as part of their Ophthalmic Practitioner Training (OPT) Programme. This led to the development of a 12-month educational course for the Moorfields Medical Retina (MR) nursing teams, with an initial focus on virtual patient assessments, clinical audits, and patient communication and consenting. The aim of the project is to train the MR nursing teams so that they can become involved in the end-to-end patient pathway, relieving pressure on colleagues within the multidisciplinary team (MDT). According to Adam Mapani MBE, Nurse Consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Teaching Fellow at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology: “This project has resulted in significant improvement in staff retention, patient and staff experience.”
The company has also focused its attention on helping to educate and upskill those who are part of the wider MDT. Roche UK recently hosted a series of CPD approved regional medical education meetings for nurses and AHPs working in ophthalmology. The series of meetings were built in collaboration with a nurse/ AHPs steering committee. Attended by over 330 nurses and AHPs, the meetings were delivered by appropriate local and national speakers, and were aimed at upskilling attendees’ understanding of the nAMD and DMO disease areas, as well as the interpretation of diagnostic tests including Optical Coherence Tomography, and disease management and treatment regimes.
The positive impact of these meetings on attendees speaks for itself: “The ability to listen and interact with fellow AHPs from different trusts was invaluable,” says Mike Horler, Consultant Optometrist Medical Retina and Head of Specialist Optometry at Sussex Eye Hospital. Jenny Nosek, a Specialist Nurse in Ophthalmology at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital who chaired a series of faceto- face Ophthalmic study days earlier in the year, adds, “In the challenging times that we currently work, these study days created an effective learning environment, embracing collaborative teamwork and cultivated a positive attitude.”
Alongside venerable eye care institutions such as Moorfields, Roche is committed to training and educating AHPs and nurses within ophthalmology, but also the other diverse community of healthcare professionals that comprise the MDT, ensuring that all those across the entire ophthalmological spectrum are as well-trained as possible to meet the everincreasing patient demand.
Roche is aiming to develop further courses to be run locally in the UK for AHPs throughout 2024. Roche Products Ltd. has commissioned this feature and is responsible for the placement and information provided.
Roche Products Ltd. has commissioned this feature and is responsible for the placement and information provided.
Date of Preparation: September 2023 / M-GB-00013999