Know Your Drops – a year in review

Fiona Chiu, associate chief pharmacist, and Sarah Thomas, lead pharmacist, blog about the Know Your Drops campaign.

In August 2016 Moorfields launched its Know Your Drops campaign to give practical advice to patients on how to use their eye drops. In the first 12 months we held more than 60 roadshow events at Moorfields sites across London and helped more than one thousand patients.

We started the campaign in response to a pretty shocking statistic that only one in three people with glaucoma use their eye drops correctly. Glaucoma is an eye condition where your optic nerve is damaged by the pressure of fluid in the eye. Eye drops are often required to help lower the pressure and need to be used long term or for life to prevent damage to your sight. Eye drops are also prescribed for many other eye conditions and it was clear that we needed to do more to support our patients to give them the best chance of improving or stabilising their sight.

People struggle with their drops for lots of different reasons and they can be particularly difficult to use for elderly people or those with sight loss. Our Know Your Drops events give us the opportunity to spend more one-on-one time with our patients and have a chat about how they’re getting on with their medication and eye drop routine. We then watch and assess their eye drop technique and help them improve it. 

About one in five patients told us that they relied on someone else to put in the drops for them as they struggled to do it on their own. One elderly patient that we saw found it difficult to squeeze the bottles and steady her hand because of her arthritis and had to rely on her partner to put in her drops for her. We gave her a simple device that helps to position and squeeze the bottle over the eye and she was over the moon with it. She said it would allow her to regain her independence, which was a fantastic result! The reaction to the campaign has been great and we’ve found that people really appreciate that extra bit of support during their visit to Moorfields.

We have lots of exciting ideas for the next 12 months of the campaign. We’re really keen on sharing what we’ve learned with colleagues across the country. We recently set up a training course for healthcare professionals to learn how they can support patients with their eye drop routine. We’re working with University College London School of Pharmacy and will be launching the UK’s first learning workshop on eye care for pharmacy students. We’ll be posting more videos and practical guides on compliance aids that help you to use your eye drops very soon, so keep a lookout!

We are very grateful to everyone who has been involved with our campaign or given their time and support. Special thanks go out to the International Glaucoma Association and Thea Pharmaceuticals. Their expertise has been invaluable and is greatly appreciated.

Know Your Drops roadshow events

Know Your Drops events will be running throughout October. Dates and locations are listed on our website. If you would like to get in touch with the team, please email knowyourdrops@moorfields.nhs.uk.

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