An ageing population and rapidly advancing ophthalmic technologies are putting hospital eye services under intense pressure. All patients attending eye clinics have diagnostic tests, but until now there have been no accredited training programmes for support staff who perform these tests. There is now a Level 4 Apprenticeship that includes a BTEC Diploma in Healthcare Science with units relevant for ophthalmic practice.
The Association of Health Professions in Ophthalmology (AHPO) offers a work based and e-learning blended programme using high quality, engaging e-books, workplace assessments and an e-portfolio. The BTEC Diploma takes 24 months followed by six months gateway to the End Point Assessment.
The benefits of the Apprenticeship include standardisation of the quality of diagnostic testing due to the training in audit and quality assurance; and improved productivity and performance leading to benefits to patients and service delivery.
AHPO is an educational charity of ophthalmic professions, is approved by Pearson as a Training Centre and endorsed by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.