Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

2008 LOC Chairman’s Comment

Looking back over the last years as chairman there has been a constant theme of change and last year has been no different
The reconstruction of four competing PCT’s into one and the consequent loss of Alex Gage from the PEC has made it more difficult for the PCT to be optometry aware.

The change of Clinical Governance lead after David Inman & I & Alex have spent two years explaining about the idiosyncrasies of Optometric practice compared with the medical/dental pattern has led to some, errr odd thinking.

However the creation of GP consortia has given energetic GP’s the freedom to be more imaginative in the use of their budget.

Sheffield NHS statistics showed us as having the highest number of referrals into secondary care, due partly to the RHH being a teaching hospital but also because there is no tradition of a strong optometry dept and hence there is historically a poor relationship between consultant ophthalmologists and optometrists.

Over the year the LOC membership has changed, as it should, with the loss of David Shepherd and David Timmins, but also the gain of fresh blood, oh dear does sound rather vampirish, in Phil Banton, Ian van Hoof, and Helen Bailey. with the hope that the LOC will enlarge further,

None of us when we joined the LOC were experts in how to set shared care schemes up, negotiate, and sell our services to the PCT. This sort of business training has never been part of our university degree, luckily we are all bright cookies and learn on the job. Remember mistakes only add flavour.

The LOC’s that miss out are the ones who out of fear and apathy just don’t try.

Since change is good for us, I am pleased to confirm my resignation as chairman from this AGM and even more pleased that Mike Daybell has stepped up to take on this role. It has also been decided that the officers of the LOC, chairman, secretary and treasurer will be expected to serve for two years only, with the option of three if necessary. This will, I hope, make it easier for colleagues to serve with out fearing being caught for life.
I am pleased to see colleagues here tonight who are not on the LOC and wonder if they would like to stay after the AGM- which is always fairly brisk- to see a working LOC meeting.

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Copthorne Hotel
Bramall Lane
S2 4SU

at 19:30 Tuesday 8th January

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