Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

Minutes Wednesday 13th March 2019

13 March 2019 – Copthorne Hotel – 7.30
Present: Chairman Rob Hughes (RH), Helen Bailey (HB), Habib Shah (HS), Dee Singh (DS), Rob Hobson (RO), Tanveer Hussain (TH), Azad Nawaz (AN), Mike Daybell (MD), East Patel (EP) ,
Attendees: Pascale Quercioli (Minutes)
Apologies: Deb Mullens James Allen, Gerry Cowley, Nizz Sabir.
Meeting started at 7:30 PM
GOS contracts: Lorraine Rodgers, Lee Addell, Primary Care Team
Glaucoma Nizz Sabir: talk about.
Chair position
Next Meeting – AGM 30 April

GOS Contracts
NHS England are wanting to review all of the NHS contracts held and is looking for all practitioners to sign new contracts. The Primary Care Team did not attend the meeting therefore this point was not discussed.
NS could not attend the meeting but sent a message to RH to start the discussion. NS had a meeting with RH as the LOC Enhanced Services Provider Liaison and sent the following summary:“In effect the GOC no longer considers the Optometry degree fit for purpose and the pre registration period is inadequate. The clinical experience is too shallow. The degree is a science degree and not a clinical degree. They are likely to approve Modern Apprenticeships. Workplace based. Equivalent to a degree. Employer sponsored. First one in September, University of Central Lancashire. Minimum 4 years. What do we all think? Is this a fresh and innovative approach?”
He explained that OHD monitoring needs better diagnostics which will require the professional certificate in Glaucoma; the level which will depend on what the practitioner is doing and it could be up to level 4, a costly course. HB stated that the difficulty of finding the placement required ie morning a week for a minimum of 6 months in hospital before they can even start the course. MD queries whether this would be absolutely necessary and RH said that it would be up to LOC to decide what optometrists want to take on. LOCSU are keen to push enhanced services to every practice. RH stated mentioned the importance of practices ticking all the boxes on the NICE guidelines and this could be one of them the CCG would not recognise. Taking the example of the PEARS scheme all agreed that the commitment is very high. The PEARS training is pretty centralised by WOPEC. HB stated that should be one of the core skills or competencies and there is probably more risk with PEARS that Glaucoma. Money saved would be minimal for the NHS. Regarding the appetite RH mentioned that he felt the only practices who would want to take it on are those already doing enhanced practices. RH mentions 26 enhanced services practices have expressed interest. RH stated that PEARS patients have already reduced in numbers and most referrals are coming from his local health centres. RH also raised the point of equipment level requirement. Discussion went on the cost of software required which is very high.
In conclusion the majority felt that more details of the scheme is required. RH asked who had the professional certificate. HB mentioned her qualification taken in Bradford when she had the results very quickly. Her experience was that she didn’t feel she had learnt a lot more. TH stated that whatever Sheffield LOC decides course is programmed in September. The feeling is that the decision is coming from a commercial perspective as the level off complaints in the industry remains very low. There is no evidence based information but technology is being tested with new ways of prescribing, an example being the autorefractor being tried at Specsavers and other multiples trying the technology.
MD suggested that the LOC response could be that the proposal is not fit for purpose however HB wondered if it had been signed off as the course is scheduled to start in September.
Chair position
No volunteers had come forward since the last meeting. RH explained that he no longer felt that he not proactive enough to hold the post any longer and wishes to step down. HS asked what were the reasons. RH mentioned that he sometimes does not follow up points raised after the meetings. EP asked should he delegate more of the role with a co-chair. MD asked that others should think of taking the position over as there would come a point when the current Chair would step down. HB spoke as a treasurer and explained that a lot of funds are currently available. Some discussion took place on how the funds should be spent to help Sheffield Optometrists. AN asked about Software Progressive analysis software was mentioned to help practitioners but it was dismissed due to the high cost.
It was agreed that more CET events should be organised. However it was mentioned that those events are sometimes being dismissed by the GOC and that are a lot of hoops to climb to get a course agreed by the GOC. RH mentioned that Claremont had been in touch but the LOC would have to refer it to the GOC first. Many commercial organisations have offered to do courses/talks. Mentioned were Trevor Warburton. AN stated that he was due to attend a course by ICT UK, at about £30 which will give him 12 points. Independent practitioners would benefit . TH stated that Rotherham LOC has a new chair who had completely overhauled the LOC, one of the main points being that they are aiming to run 4 CET events per year. The chair has delegated the CET events to one person with one or two per event, splitting the LOC spreading the workload co-chair role. MD explained an upcoming CET on Dry Eye was to take place on 8 May and asked those interested to let him know.
On another point RH mentioned that PCS constantly talking to CCG about Webstar, which would push costs from practice to PECS to approximately £8.00 per episode. RH said that anything meaning that LOC members are being paid less that now, the LOC would reject. It is not PECS’s role to approve schemes but they should recommend schemes that the LOC is recommending. None of the schemes have had an increased since they started. Things are being done more regionally that nationally. Volumes of referrals are lower than they used to be because of the Enhanced Services. DS explained that a large questionnaire of about 40 questions is required which takes 30 minutes to put a patient through which is too costly. However is it felt that the CCG is happy with the current system. But many changes have taken place with R Oliver retiring Linda L moving job and soon to retire. Her replacement is Debbie Stobin. RH to arrange a meeting after the AGM when she will be invited.

Website: EP explained that the website is still a work in progress that that more would be available at the next meeting.
RH to talk to Claremont re a CET
RH to contact Dr Nichola Logan: Aston University
All to approach reps
Laptop & Printer to be purchased for administrator.
Anyone interested to attend the Dry Eye CET on 8 May to let MD know.

Next Meeting
LOC AGM 30 April 2019 @ 7.00
Meeting finished at 8.30

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at 19:00 Tuesday 30th of April 2019 - AGM

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