Safety of optom-delivered SLT underscored

June 4, 2024 Staff reporters

Authors of a joint UK and Greek study have found optometrists trained in selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) can safely deliver treatments autonomously and take on a significant clinical load to support their ophthalmology colleagues.


With SLT now the UK National Health Service’s first-line treatment for glaucoma and ocular hypertension, researchers at Moorfields and the University of West Attica said there is no standardised laser-training course for non-medical ophthalmic practitioners, despite a sharp increase in demand. In response, they designed an apprenticeship-style SLT programme which includes exposure to model eyes.


The safety of non-medical delivery of SLT has been previously described in the UK and is comparable to that reported for ophthalmologists, with the procedure having been delivered by US optometrists for some years, said the research team. The team’s subsequent publications will aim to enrich the evidence base of non-medical ophthalmic laser delivery, they said.


The open-access study, ‘Optometrist-delivered selective laser trabeculoplasty in the HES – a training protocol and early service evaluation’, was published in Eye.