Innovation Exchange

Eye Drop Initiative


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership piloted and rolled out a training programme to enable Care at Home staff to administer eye drops to service users. This person-centred approach involves multidisciplinary team working across health and social care professionals; it increases staff skills and knowledge and ensures service user needs are addressed effectively and with fewer disruptions in their daily lives.

Themes: Health and Social Care, Partnership and Collaboration

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A training programme was developed jointly by Care at Home service and District Nursing service.


  • It was agreed that all Care at Home staff would undertake eye drop training.
  • It was agreed this would be delivered in localities by District Nursing staff, with a pilot session initially being delivered in one locality (Three Towns.)
  • Training sessions were scheduled to last approximately 1.5 hours and were inclusive of a power point presentation, providing information with regards to anatomy, physiology and frequently used eye drops and their reason for use.  The presentation explained the correct way to administer eye drops.
  • Following this presentation all Care at Home staff have the opportunity to practice their technique on mannequins before being assessed by a member of the District Nursing team and being deemed competent, with additional support offered to staff not deemed competent.
  • It was agreed that training would be delivered locally to allow staff groups to be trained within a six-month period.
  • It was proposed that eye drops training be incorporated into Induction Training for all new staff, with District Nursing staff continuing to support this training.
  • It was proposed that other Independent Care at Home providers would attend this training in locality based training sessions

As at March 2016, 86% of the workforce have completed a training session and have been deemed competent to assist with/ administer eye drops for service users in receipt of Care at Home services. District Nursing colleagues were very flexible in both terms of times and venues for training to facilitate good attendance for Care at Home staff.

District nurses continue to provide training sessions to ensure all staff have the opportunity to undertake this training.

District nurses have a reported a reduction in workloads and planned visits where Care at Home staff are now providing this service.

Care at Home staff have reported improved knowledge and greater understanding of both physiology and practical administration of eye drops, resulting in an increase in confidence and improvement in working practices.

Care at Home Services and District nurses have reported an improvement in working relationships and understanding of services since the initiative began. It is anticipated the services will continue to work together to develop further training and joint working initiatives.

Most importantly service users have reported a reduction in visits to their homes enabling service users to live independently within their communities with minimal interventions.

The Care at Home service will continue to work with District Nurses to incorporate this training into an Induction programme for all new staff.


The service will also incorporate further eye drop refresher training into 18 monthly statutory Medication Refresher Training.


Initially uptake from Independent Care at Home Providers was poor, this has now improved and these providers will continue to attend future courses as required.


Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Engagement and Communications Officer

North Ayrshire Council

01294 317812

Case study added to site: June 2016

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