The Sector Information and IT Committee, which consists of 10 optical bodies, announced its support for the two-way IT connectivity between primary care and the NHS.

The Association of Optometrists said: ‘It is self-evident that this needs to be implemented carefully and in a programmed way to ensure rollout is safe and does not put patients’ eye or general health at risk... such as by digitally isolating patients or practitioners unnecessarily.’

The NHS has been testing proofs-of-concept in sites across England. However decisions around systems, funding or phasing out or retaining paper referrals have not been finalised.