The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists has launched its glaucoma-referral pathways in New Zealand, for District Health Boards.

The guidelines provide an evidence-based resource for optometrists, GPs and other health-care professionals that outlines referral protocols for patients with, or suspected of having glaucoma.

The need for the guidelines was highlighted by the recent eye-care waiting list backlog affecting DHBs across New Zealand.

Dr Shenton Chew, of RANZCO, led the development of the New Zealand specific guidelines through consultation with glaucoma sub-specialists.

New Zealand-based RANZCO Fellows and several eye-health-care groups also reviewed the drafts ensuring the guidelines are practical and effective.

The end result is a clinical guideline that will ensure appropriate referral into DHB eye departments for glaucoma.

The guidelines are a part of a series of eye-care-referral guidelines RANZCO has developed for the referral of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and AMD, across Australia and New Zealand.

The glaucoma referral pathways launched on 8 September have been specifically developed for the New Zealand are being available to all optometrists and GPs across New Zealand.

“RANZCO is committed to working collaboratively with optometrists, GPs and other health care professionals to ensure the most effective and efficient patient care and to improve health outcomes for people across Australia and New Zealand,” the president of RANZCO, Associate Professor Mark Daniell, said.

“The pathways have been developed with input from both ophthalmologists and optometrists and aim to provide a clear guide for referring patients to DHBs. “The guidelines are designed to help improve collaboration between ophthalmologists, eye-care professionals and DHBs to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients.”