Elderly Islanders Made Housebound By NHS Admin Delays

Isles of Scilly Health Centre

Isles of Scilly Health Centre

Elderly patients in Scilly are becoming housebound because of a lack of optometry services.

That was the view of Adult Social Care Manager, Gareth Peters, who told members at last week’s Health and Wellbeing Meeting, that islanders were under “increasing risk.”

He said there were currently two cases where this was happening because people couldn’t access specialist eye care.

Optometry services were due to start at the Health Centre back in June, with Penzance-based business, Reynolds Opticians, making regular visits to the islands.

But Dr Francis Old, from the Helston medical practice that runs GP services in Scilly, says he’s frustrated by the delay.

He says around £25,000 has already been invested in new equipment on St Mary’s, but the optometrist can’t start until a new contract is put in place to pay them.

That’s been sat on the desk of NHS England, he says.

Dr Old said that should be completed soon and he’s hoping the optometrist will start work here in November.

The Health Centre is hoping to run extra sessions to clear the backlog of patients.