Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

2009 Chairman’s Comment


This has been a busy and effective year for the committee. Working in close partnership with the PCT and the GP consortia a number of schemes have been effectively advanced – PEARS, GRR and Paediatric Eye care, whilst a number of other issues have been considered – Eye care strategy for Sheffield, clinical governance, Diabetic eye screening. The LOC website has become a more effective tool for communication with our colleagues and has bestowed upon the committee a greater transparency.
We have been pleased to welcome Dr Richard Oliver from the PEC to a number of meetings and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his advice and help on a number of issues, particularly the acceptance of the GRR data collection form as a referral document to the Glaucoma unit and facilitating the chairs attendance at a PEC board meeting ( July 09 ).
Gerry Cowley has brought in E-banking which should bring benefits to the financial dealings of the committee.
Robert Hughes has continued to keep the committee informed on Diabetic Eye screening and the intention of programme to change to broadband data transfer. There have been issues with turnaround times for data analysis and following audit there may be changes in delivery.
Robert has continued the work of Alex as secretary and has continued the effective running of the website.

Shirley Blundell has continued to drive the Paediatric referral refinement pathway forward with support from the chair at PCT level and from Ian Van Hoof who organised a v. well attended learning initiative.

Excellent progress has been made with PEARS, which will ‘roll out’ across the city on June 1st following a successful pilot and enthusiastic support from the PCT and from some of the GP’s (those who did not have done so from a lack of awareness as opposed to resistance). Well received training has been well provided by Replay learning following discussions between Mike Daybell and Peter Charlesworth. Feedback from optometrists on the pilot in West Sheffield was that they felt they were clinically well equipped to participate in the scheme.

The GRR has faced challenges recently due to the new NICE guidelines however further training is intended for June to allow participants to maintain competency.
There have been 5 meetings of the Ophthalmology Strategy Group from which a policy will emerge to take eye care forward in Sheffield for the next 5 yrs. It was from this committee that the PCT began serious engagement with the committee to move forward PRR. The committee also agreed to look further into the cataract referral pathway.

Helen and Phil have agreed to continue to work on the Low vision pathway previously developed by David Shepherd and Sue is keeping the committee informed on governance issues which will assume a greater importance in the coming months.
Visitors to the committee this year included Harold Atkinson from LOCSU and Claire Holden from the ‘Sheffield Stop Smoking Programme’

The committee can look forward to participating and driving forward eye care in Sheffield in the next year, particularly if we can sustain our levels of enthusiasm and effort and build on our contacts with the PCT, PBC and GP’s.

Michael Daybell LOC Chairperson May 12th 2009

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