A 12-month pilot scheme for minor eye conditions will be launched in Bury today.

The service, commissioned by Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), will mean that a number of community optometrists will provide treatment for a range of eye-related problems.

The move is designed to avoid patients having to attend hospital or a GP.

People can access the service for a range of eye conditions including: red eye or eyelids; dry eye or uncomfortable eyes; irritation and inflammation of the eye and in-growing eyelashes.

Dr Kiran Patel, chairman of Bury CCG said: “Optometrists are highly skilled professionals with state of the art equipment and are often better placed to assess and recommend treatments than GPs or accident and emergency staff.

“This scheme will allow for patients to be treated closer to home and more quickly. Optometrists will work closely with GPs, pharmacists and ophthalmologists and ultimately improving the patient experience and care.”

He added: “With an increasingly ageing population in Bury, we think this will be a really well utilised service. In the first year, we predict that around 2,000 patients registered with a Bury GP will benefit from this service.”

The service will be available across the network of 12 practices to people of all ages, six days a week, Monday to Saturday, with some availability on evenings and Sundays.

Information leaflets will be available at optometry practices, GP surgeries and pharmacies.