AN eye clinic was granted a reprieve by Bury health bosses who had thought to axe the service in a bid to save money.

Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is battling a £7.3 million deficit and had thought to close the minor eye condition service (MECS) in a bid to save itself around £230,000 a year.

However, between March and May evidence was put forward that the clinic was probably saving money.

A paper presented to the primary care committee by Margaret O’Dwyer, director of commissioning and business delivery, said there was an assumption the MECS had contributed to a reduction in outpatient activity at the hospital.

Wendy Craven from the local optical committee said: “We say we will save £1.70 for every pound spent.

“As well as these savings we have got savings in GP and A&E appointments, we should be congratulating ourselves, this is a winning service.”

MECS has been running in Bury since May 2014 and is provided by Primary Eyecare North Ltd, it cost £226,586 this year.

The committee agreed to recommend keeping the service at least until the GMHSCP provided guidance. At the governing body meeting this decision was accepted.

Mrs O’Dwyer, said: “Two things came to light since this board last met, the impact on primary and secondary care appointments and that GM are very shortly going to be issuing recommendations for a scheme very similar to the minor eye conditions service with significant cost benefit analysis.

“The patient care committee was minded to say we will continue the service until GM guidance comes through.”

At the Greater Manchester level a Local Eye Health Network is being developed to offer eye health services across the region. More information is expected on this later in the year.