A new £9.5m grant will allow Health Boards across Wales to invest in new technology to help improve patient care.
Around £1m of the grant has been awarded to the NHS Wales Informatics Service to fund two projects, both to encourage the seamless delivery of healthcare through the adoption of new technology for optometry.
Chief executive of Optometry Wales (OW), Sali Davis, said: “This news is very welcome and we are delighted that practices will finally receive a technology refresh. The challenge now will be to ensure that as the negotiating body in Wales, OW is able to ensure that the funds are evenly distributed across all optometric practices across Wales and that funding is continued after the 12 month period”
Last September, the Together for Health: Eye Health Care Delivery Plan for Wales was launched by the Welsh Government. It highlighted the importance of providing access to high quality integrated services across primary and secondary care, with support through improved information and communication technology.
A recent survey from Optometry Wales found that 23% of practices operated without a PC – while 17% don’t have access to the internet.
It is hoped the project will lead to a better understanding regarding the sharing of patients across different healthcare settings.
The Welsh Health government minister, Mr Drakeford, said: “Thousands of patients across Wales have benefited from the Welsh Government’s Health Technologies Fund since its launch in 2013.
“Technology plays a key role in achieving the best outcomes for patients and reduces the need for patients to have to travel to hospital for their care.”