Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

2014 Chairmans comment

Chairman’s Report- Rob Hughes.
Another year gone, and time for my 4th report as Chair.

On the surface, it has seemed to be very much business as usual. All of our enhanced services (PEARS, glaucoma referral refinement, repeat applanation tonometry and paediatric referral refinement) continue to do their job well, giving patients access to good eye care in a primary care setting, meaning convenience and speed of access when appropriate. The PRR scheme had a patient satisfaction survey done this year and the results were tremendous.

Thanks and congratulations go out to all of our enhanced service providers.

No new schemes have been developed this year, but we continue to look at ocular hypertension monitoring – one day!

Big changes are going on behind the scenes with the recomissioning of the services using the Any Qualified Provider Model. This has meant the LOC has set up a provider company, and we will soon be tendering for all our enhanced services. Helen Bailey has done huge, huge amounts of work on this, and without her, we would not be ready, so thank you Helen.

The CCG this year decided that, as there is no clinical value in it, they would no longer pay optometrists for filling out cataract post op refraction results for the Hallamshire. I approached the hospital to see if they would be able to pay for the service, with no success. However, they are still sending the patients with the forms. The LOC position is that you are not obliged to fill them in.

The LOC branched out last year, and carried out its first peer discussion event, organised by James and Azad. The event was well received, as was a smaller event later in the year. This is something we will repeat. Thanks Azad and James.

As ever, 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 managed to shock us all by stepping down from his role as clinical CCG joint chair. Without him, we would have found it very difficult to be where we are now. He’s promised he will still be around, and his joint clinical lead, Zak McMurray, is taking on the role full time, and we will welcome him to all future meetings.

We also have 3 new LOC members this year – Rob Hobson is a DO at Specsavers, East Patel is a DO who owns his own practice, Eyefinity, and Dee Singh is an optom working for Tesco. Welcome to you all, and welcome also to our new admin assistant Karen Williams.

Finally, we have said goodbye this year to one of the longest standing members of the LOC. Sue Wilford was chair of the LOC when I arrived, and has been a foundation of the LOC for me. But, retirement looms, and she decided to start taking life easier by giving up her Specsavers franchise, and retiring from both her College and LOC roles. Can’t say I blame her, but we miss her!

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