Over £8.5m has been invested in Wales to create a new electronic patient record and digital electronic referral system for eye care.

It was the first system of its kind to be launched nationally and underpinned plans published for the future approach to optometry services in Wales.

A total of £4.8m would be invested in a cloud-based system to modernise the referral and monitoring of patients with eye conditions and improve patient outcomes. A further £3.5m would be used to replace existing IT hardware used in hospitals and primary care settings.

The system would provide ophthalmologists and optometrists with shared access to clinical information in order to monitor eye health and provide shared care.

Vaughan Gething, the Minister for Health and Social Services, said: ‘Eye care services in Wales are very much leading the way and our plans for the future approach to optometry outlines how we can continue to progress and innovate. Central to its development is the new digital patient record and electronic referral platform, which will modernise the delivery of eye care treatment and enhance patient experience and outcomes.’

The project, which has commenced roll out across Wales, was led by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.