The relationship between primary and secondary care has arguably never been more important. With a rising population bringing with it an increasing range of medical complications demanding specialist treatment, it is vital the two strands of our healthcare system enjoy a close and harmonious relationship.

The sharing of knowledge and two-way communication is key – discussing best practice to ensure a consistency of treatment and an awareness of who to refer to if specialist intervention is required.

The coming together of optometry and ophthalmology is an example of how this can help to improve patient outcomes, BCLA wants to orchestrate this collaboration and has invested in this vision already. It was pleasing to see an appetite for this at our annual Pioneers & Visionaries meeting last week.

The event itself was a celebration of joined-up thinking as we teamed up with the ophthalmology group; Medical Contact Lens and Ocular Surface Association (MCLOSA) to stage the meeting at London’s Royal College of Physicians to help mark its 25th anniversary.

Discussions around Dry Eye and myopia management sat alongside video presentations on ocular surgery techniques while the merits of contact lenses and surgical intervention for refractive correction in keratoconus was debated.

We know there is on-going work to rationalise and professionalise primary eyecare and a new national delivery arm is looking to capitalise on the new commissioning landscape. With that in mind it makes sense to work together more than ever.

A closer relationship between optometry and ophthalmology can only be a good thing for both professions – to the ultimate benefit of patients.