Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

Sheffield Loc meeting 12th December 2011

Sheffield Local Optical Committee

Monday 12th December 2011
Beauchief Hotel at 7.30 pm



Helen Bailey, Deb Mullens (DM), Azad Nawaz (AN), Helen Wilkinson (HW), Rob Hughes (RH), Sue Wilford (SW), James Allen (JA)Habib Shah (HS)

1) Apologies

Tanveer Hussain (TH) Alastair Mew (AM), Richard Oliver (RO), Gerry Cowley (GC), David Inman (DI)

2) Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the last meeting held on Tuesday 1st November 2011 were accepted, after minor corrections. Proposed by DM and seconded by HW

Simon Longstaff and Chris Brand are happy to give us talks.

SW commented it is to be made easier to apply for CET points for lectures. RH to contact GC

3) Matters Arising

a) Local Professional Networks

PB, RH, RO and DI attended a meeting concerning Local Professional Networks.

These are to be a statutory body to promote and develop best practice in the PCT cluster group. It is currently not known what structure an LPN will have, but it is suggested that representation would be from the LOC, secondary care, consortium and patient groups. Each PCT will have to have the same representation as each other. The meeting was to discuss the possibility of our cluster starting an LPN and see how it works, before it becomes a requirement, as a trial for other areas. It was stated that the LPN is not simply a large discussion group, but it was pointed out that one PCT can not force another to do anything. So is it just a discussion group?

It was suggested that the LPN meets every month. The LOC felt that this would be a big problem, getting so many diverse people to one location at regular intervals, especially for those with clinics to run. It wouldn’t be possible to take that much time out of practice. There would also be the issue of location – the meetings would have to move around the cluster area otherwise it would be difficult for some areas to attend meetings.

A possibility of a more informal LPN was discussed, whereby most discussions would be done via email, and the groups only meet if it was necessary. If there are no schemes under active discussion, meetings would be a waste of time.

It was also felt that the LPN would currently be of little benefit to Sheffield, as we are generally ahead of other LOCs as regards enhanced services.

There is no legal commitment to have it till 2013. The benefits of setting it up prior to this are that we have control over how it works, rather than being told at a later date.

RH has email address for chair persons of the other LOCs in the cluster, and will contact them and start discussions.

Funding was also discussed, and it was agreed that this should be funded by the PCT or CCG when they take over.

b) Non functional surgery

The PCT are looking at reducing costs by reducing funding for non functional surgery. AM has given a list of conditions and is seeking the LOC’s thoughts.

It was agreed that the list from Norfolk (Ptosis / Dermatochalasis, Ectropion, Entropion and Meibomian cyst / chalazion) was a good starting point. Other conditions that might be added would be adult squints and xanthelasma.

The LOC is happy to provide suggestions, but do not want to take any active part in the discussions between the PCT and hospital, especially in view of current tensions.

c) PRR

RH is sending out a list of where screening is happening next, to the NHS mail box of PRR practices. He added a note requesting feedback from PRR optoms about the online reporting, and all feedback was positive. No one has found any errors that need attention.

There was an audit done and Caroline Mabbott made it sound more expensive than it was, as she included all referrals from all optoms to the Children’s hospital, and quoted a set up cost of £80,000, which all felt seemed rather high. SB sent an email querying the figures, and giving some revised amounts. There has been no response. Caroline Mabbott has now left the PCT.
Note from Shirley Blundell:

SCH audit figures revealed that 5479 children were screened, of which 444 were sent to PRR, of which only 38 required onward referral, and so 406 were successfully managed by community optometrists; 349 were sent from screening to SCH .

d) Changes to PEARS protocols

The PEARS issue that was brought up at the last meeting was investigated by DM and HW. It was decided that the treatment was appropriate, but the PEARS optom didn’t send Pears report to the referring optom. The patient’s specs were amended at the patient’s cost, then patient brought more specs from the PEARS practice, having complained her specs were too heavy.

It was decided that the complaint could have been avoided if the referring optom had been kept informed, and the patient should have been told to return to the original prescribing optom for any alteration to her specs. Without the PEARS report being fully completed, the PEARS optom put themselves in a position where it was their word against the referring optom’s, with no evidence either way, without contacting the patient and dragging them into it, which all felt was not in anyone’s best interests.

A letter is to go out to all PEARS optoms, stating that they are only to deal with the referral issue, reports are to be sent to the referring optom and GP in all cases, and any amendment to spectacles should be done by the prescribing optom, and not the PEARS optom, unless the patient expressly desires it – in this case, this should be documented on the PEARS report.

DM mentioned that when she sees onward referrals come into the hospital from PEARS optoms, she rarely saw the original referral. The letter to PEARS optoms will also ask that the original referral is sent to the hospital, and to remind PEARS optoms to refer direct to secondary care, not via SPA.

DI left at 20.40 hrs

The possibility of a PEARS meeting between the PEARS optoms was discussed, possibly including some case studies.

4) Any other business

SW asked for opinions on the College website. It was thought that the content is good, but very hard to find. The search system needs to be improved.

Secretary – nominations or volunteers required following Phil Banton’s stepping down due to personal reasons. Anyone interested to talk to RH.

JA said he would be interested in the future, but doesn’t feel ready yet.

RH requested that the LOC buys flowers for Phil and Fiona. Unanimously agreed.

HB asked how the group thought the accounts should work. Currently there are two accounts, one for the Voluntary levey, which isn’t collected anymore. There will be difficulties in closing the current accounts as the signatories on one of them are no longer alive.

It was suggested that the current accounts are emptied, but left dormant, and one new account is set up at another bank which is more accommodating to changes of signatories, possibly Barclays as HB already uses them without trouble.

5) Date of next meeting;

Tuesday 24th January 2012

Meeting closed 21.20hrs

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