Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

2013 Chairmans comment

The end of another year, and the beginning of a fundamental change in the NHS, with the ending of the PCT and the start of the CCG. Happily for us, many faces stay the same, so we look forward to continuing our strong relationship we have with our NHS collegues.

For now, it is very much business as usual, and although it’s been a busy time for the CCG, for us it’s been a relatively quiet year, with all of our enhanced services continuing to deliver excellent clinical care close to the patient’s home or place of work, and, as a bonus, saving the CCG some much needed money.

The only change for us this year has been the end of cataract scoring. There has been opposition to this from the hospital and also the RNIB have voiced concerns over “rationing,” although I always looked on this as ensuring appropriate referral, with consistant standards being applied across the area.

It is to be hoped that the hospital eye service can manage with the increase in referrals for cataract as a result of this decision.

Last year I reported progress in the aim to get stable ocular hypertention monitored in the community, and it seemed as if we might finally get this going. But perhaps we got excited too soon. Once again, we have hit barriers, but hopefully we will be able to overcome them at some point.

We have also managed to get the hospital to agree to the idea of replying to all referrals from optometrists. This would be helped by optoms getting patients to sign consent for information exchange if there is a box for this on your chosen paperwork. I strongly recommend using the Sheffield referral form that can be downloaded from our website, especially as this has a statement consenting to information exchange without the patient needing to sign. Remember, you don’t need lots pof duplicate copies of the forms, just do one, fax it to SPA (or use email if you’ve got an nhs mail address), and then SPA copy in the GP.

We are also looking forward to our first Peer Review session to make it easier for our Sheffield colleagues to fulfil their new CET requirements.

Once again I thank the rest of the team at the LOC for their help and support, and again single out Richard Oliver, Alastair Mew and Lynda Liddament from the CCG for all they do for us.
Richard has asked that the AGM formally acknowledges his thanks for the co-operation between the CCG and the LOC which has led to national recognition— National opt conference, Health service journal and Ihe’s working on something for one of the GP magazines as well.

Finally, we have two goodbyes this year. David Inman has been Sheffield’s optometric advisor ever since I joined the LOC, but has now stepped down. I would take this opportunity to say, on behalf of the LOC and CCG, thanks for everything

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