Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

2010 Chairman’s Comment


This has again been a busy and effective year for the committee with all members contributing to the furtherance of Optometric enhanced services. Working in close partnership with the PCT and other Stakeholders, a number of schemes have been effectively advanced, Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Scheme ( PEARS ), Glaucoma Referral Refinement ( GRR ), Low Vision, and Paediatric Eyecare, whilst a number of other issues have been considered – Eyecare strategy for Sheffield, clinical governance, Diabetic eye screening. The LOC website continues to be an increasingly effective tool for communication with our community colleagues.

It has become increasingly apparent that despite effective delegation of different aspects of the committee’s work and an increase in payment to members, we need to increase our membership.

We have been pleased to welcome Steven Haigh ( Assistant director of strategy Sheffield PCT) who joins Dr Richard Oliver from the PEC as co-opted members of the committee and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their committed attendance, and for their help and advice on a number of issues.

Gerry Cowley has continued to run efficient management of the committee’s finances.

Robert Hughes and Philip Banton have continued to keep the committee informed on Diabetic Eye screening and the intention of the director of public health to alter delivery of the service following a very critical EQA report.
Robert Hughes has continued the work of secretary and the effective running of the website.

Shirley Blundell has continued to drive the Paediatric referral refinement pathway forward with support from Katrina Venerus at LOCSU, the chair at PCT level and the LOC as a whole as this initiative raised significant issues around procurement of this and other enhanced services provided by community optometry. It is expected that the Paediatric scheme will be in operation by sept 2010.

Excellent progress has been made with PEARS, which now encompasses all GP initiated and optometry initiated referrals across the city with enthusiastic support from the PCT and the city’s GP’s. There are some capacity issues with this and further training is to be provided to allow the appointment of further PEARS optometrists.
I would like to thank Phil Banton for assisting me with the development of the referral process via the RIS and , along with Helen Bailey and myself the development of triage protocols which all participating optometrists were given at a recent PEARS review meeting organised by the chair with support from Lynda Liddament at the PCT.

The GRR and increasingly PEARS has successfully taken on the challenge of the new NICE guidelines. There is a new clinical data collection form available to all on the LOC website which I would encourage people to use. My thanks to Sue Stentiford for her input into the development of this and also the new GOS 18 which will be available by September.

Following the recommendations of the Ophthalmology Strategy Group both Glaucoma and cataract referral pathways have been reviewed by the PCT with representation from the LOC chair, secretary, treasurer and others on the LOC. These committees have still to report.

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 Katrina Venerus from LOCSU, Jan Sioberaj, Angela Billings ( who spoke on infection control and later presented this to a larger group of CO’s at a meeting organised by the LOC.) and Caroline Mabbott ( PCT procurement )
I would like to take the opportunity to thank David Inman for carrying out his increasingly complex role as optometric advisor with skill and dedication, in particular his involvement in the advancement of the procurement process by the PCT of enhanced services.

Mention should also be made for the support from the strategy team at the PCT, Robert Carter, Kate Gleave, Lynda Liddament and recently Alastair Mew. Also thanks to Julie Glossop for her role in developing the RIS process and the team at the RIS led by Lorraine Gregory and Sarah Faulkener.

My thanks to all those whose advice I have sought whilst chair and if the enthusiasm and good work which has been shown during this time by many individuals continues; which I have every confidence that it will, then community optometry in Sheffield will continue to be ably represented and our profession locally will continue its positive development.

Michael Daybell LOC Chairperson May 17th 2010

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