NHSX has launched a dynamic purchasing system for electronic eyecare referrals systems (EERS).
It has also revealed that it has secured £8.5 million to fund its work supporting the deployment of the technology.
Lisa Hollins, director of innovation delivery at NHSX, and Radhika Rangaraju, programme director for digital optometry, said the moves reflect some of the key priorities for the organisation that leads on digital policy for the NHS in England.
The dynamic purchasing system has been established to enable quicker procurement of the systems. It is managed by the National Commercial and Procurement Hub, currently has 12 suppliers and will remain in place until November 2024.
In addition, the organisation has secured £7 million revenue and £1.5 million capital funding to support its work to improve connectivity for optometry and ophthalmology services, which should enable the wider deployment of EERS systems across primary and secondary care.
Hollins and Rangaraju said the move comes from conversations with national clinician groups such as the National Ophthalmology Pathway Board on the clinical importance of being able to share images of the eye.
They added that all seven NHS England regions are currently in the processes of securing EERS systems for local eyecare services.
“This is the culmination of our work with ophthalmology and optometry stakeholders to identify the most effective approach to supporting advice, guidance and image sharing between high street ophthalmologists and ophthalmology teams based in hospitals,” they said.
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