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About the Ophthalmology Network

The Ophthalmology Network brings together ophthalmic clinicians and consumers and community representatives to promote equitable access to public sector ophthalmic services in NSW, including cataract surgery, complex eye surgery and general ophthalmology consultations.

Our People

Michael Hennessy

Michael Hennessy, Co-Chair
Ophthalmologist
Prince of Wales Hospital
South East Sydney Local Health District

Julie Heraghty

Julie Heraghty, Co-Chair
CEO Macular Disease Foundation Australia

The ACI Ophthalmology Network (Statewide Ophthalmology Service) is led by an executive committee which includes ophthalmologists, nurses, orthoptists and consumers.

The Network’s members include clinicians (medical, nursing and allied health professionals), consumers and representatives from the NSW Ministry of Health, local health districts, specialty network governed health corporations, NSW Branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), Rural, and Orthoptic Standing Committees, the Optometrists Association of Australia (NSW) and non-government vision organisations.

Priorities

  • To develop a model of care for public patients with age-related macular degeneration to improve access to treatment and ongoing management initially at Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital.
  • To develop a model of care for public patients with diabetic retinopathy from screening through to treatment and ongoing management including the involvement of low vision agencies.
  • To develop a model of care for public patients with uncomplicated symptomatic cataract.
  • To work with NSW Health, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists RANZCO and the ophthalmology community to progress the recommendations on cataracts of the Surgery Futures Plan for metropolitan Sydney and rural NSW.
  • To validate a vision screening tool for patients in acute stroke units in NSW public hospitals.
  • To educate non-ophthalmic clinicians to implement the use of consensus eye emergency clinical guidelines published in the Eye Emergency Manual.

Achievements

  • Development and distribution of the consensus eye emergency clinical guidelines for non-ophthalmic clinicians published in the Eye Emergency Manual.
  • Introduction of the consensus eye emergency clinical guidelines into 24 NSW public hospital emergency departments.
  • Eye emergency clinician education for medical and nursing clinicians working in emergency departments in both rural and metropolitan areas.
  • Review of eye surveillance protocols in the Personal Health Record (Blue Book) provided to mothers of all new babies in NSW.
  • Development and introduction of eyeplaysafe an interactive web-based learning package for children five to nine years of age available in all NSW public schools to teach children how to protect their eyes at home and when playing.
  • Stroke Patient Care and Visual Defects Study, the recommendations of which included that increased attention is paid to the detection of ocular conditions – both existing and acquired – as part of the acute stroke management process and that ocular findings are managed with treatment and onward referral.
  • The inaugural Eye Health Forum held in March 2010. The forum brought together speakers from across the eye-health community, including health, low vision, non-government organisations and researchers who reported on initiatives to address key action areas of the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss.

Background

The ACI Ophthalmology Network is building on the work of the Statewide Ophthalmology Service which was established by the Greater Metropolitan Transition Taskforce in November 2003 to act as a peak advisory body for public sector ophthalmic services in NSW.