Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

Sheffield Loc meeting 1st November 2011

Sheffield Local Optical Committee

SLOC Minutes of the meeting

Held: Tuesday 1st November 2011

Present: James Allen (JA), Shirley Blundell (SB), Gerry Cowley (GC), Mike Daybell (MD), Rob Hughes (RH), Deb Mullens (DM), Azad Nawaz (AN), Sue Wilford (SW), Helen Wilkinson (HW),

Attendees: Louise Lambert (LL) (Minutes)

Apologies: Phil Banton (PB), Alex Gage (AG), Alastair Mew (AM), Richard Oliver (RO), Habib Shah (HS).

Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the last meeting held on Monday 26th September 2011 were accepted, after minor corrections to Point 4 – Cataracts. Proposed by SB and seconded by RH

Matters Arising

1. Glaucoma

Initially the plan to get glaucoma monitoring out of hospitals and into the community looked doubtful. Taking into account the Hallamshire’s current Service Level of agreement (SLA) costing £65 per appointment and cost efficiency to NHS Sheffield.

GC joined the meeting at 7:40pm

The group debated the way in which the service could be performed and considered that any possible programmes could not be promoted against the service currently being provided by the Hallamshire and could potentially seen as an inferior service.

SW mentioned, again from a previous meeting, the scheme being run in the rural area of Devonshire by David McVeigh, commenting that it is due to be audited within the next couple of months and that it is run within tightly controlled protocols. The criteria for any proposed scheme within Sheffield, in line with the Devonshire scheme, would need to have sufficient savings to the PCT along with patient safety. Patients are still under hospital care and the scheme would need to be assessed on a patient-by-patient basis, if there were any significant differences the patient would be escalated to secondary care.

AN enquired if uptake/interest numbers where known. RH thought that it would be difficult to define. They reviewed how the scheme will operates within Doncaster, identifying that whatever the monitoring results, the patient are referred back into hospital every 2 years, as a new patient, negating any cost savings.

The group went onto discuss overall direction and guidance from the hospital and how this would be helpful for yearly assessments. It was suggested that, initially optometrists could start with the Ocular hypertensive. The group also mentioned areas of responsibility concluding that the role of the optometrist would be to take measurements and not make decisions, almost acting like outside technicians for the Hallamshire, operating within tight guidelines.

The group again considered how many community optometrists would want to participate in the scheme or whether people were saturated with other areas of work. The committee’s long term view is to see what, and how other schemes progress elsewhere, particularly Devonshire. Considering that in the future private health companies could potentially be contracted by Simon Longstaff. Ultimately the scheme would have to be cost effective for optometrist practice.
Action: SW to email the Devonshire scheme around to the committee
Action: The committee agreed to review the situation at a later date.

SB suggested that perhaps Simon Longstaff would like to attend an event to allow clarification regarding the programme and criteria to use. The group consider this would enhance working practices between the hospital and community optometrists. SW suggested running something next year in conjunction with DOCET (Directorate of Optometric Continuing Education and Training) enabling funding of the event. The group discussed detail of the future event. Including attendance numbers and topic suggestions
Action: RH to enquire with Mary Freeman, if Simon Longstaff will do a talk
Action: RH to email consultants, to ascertain if they would attend do something.

2. PRR

SB updated the group regarding the patient questionnaire, which is similar to PEARS questionnaire. SB reminded the group that RO had commented that the scheme would be more secure if patient satisfaction could be demonstrated. SB further suggested that the questionnaire be sent to last year’s patients. The equality and diversity questions still appear on the back of the form, which includes, not appropriate to 5 year old children, sexuality questions. The PCT confirmed is a legal obligation to ask although not compulsory for the patient’s parents to answer. SB requested that the PCT to clearly indicate, at the top of the questions, that there is no necessity for completion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) are currently posted on the SLOC website and everyone has also had a copy. Any further comments should be issued to SB. There was a small glitch with electronic reporting reading the wrong dates, which has now been resolved.

AN informed the group that he is still experiencing issues using NHS Mail and the group advised that a potential solution would be to switch off the pop up blocker.

SB informed the group that a recent meeting called by the PCT at the Children’s hospital was cancelled at the last minute, 2 hours prior to the meeting. The group considered that potentially the meeting could have taken place, discussing related topics in the absence of Julia Ennis and Alistair Clark. They also reflected that it is difficult to change clinic times, which carries a cost.
Action: RH to email Alastair Mew to voice SLOC concerns

SB brought to the committee’s attention the recent article conducted by “Which” magazine, as featured in Optician online (Issued after the meeting – found at It wanted to encourage PCTs to conduct children’s vision screening within appropriate pathways. It highlighted Professor David Thomson comments to the “Which” findings. SB suggested that it would be beneficial to bring the article to NHS Sheffield’s attention.
Action: SB to issue web hyperlink to LL
Action: Highlight the article to NHS Sheffield

3. Future Meetings

The group agreed to alternate next years meeting dates between Mondays and Tuesdays.
Action: RH to email 2012 dates to group.
(Issued after the meeting)
Tuesday 24th January 2012
Monday 5th March 2012
Tuesday 17th April 2012
Monday 28th May 2012 (includes AGM)
Tuesday 10th July 2012
Monday 20th August 2012
Tuesday 2nd October 2012
Monday 12th November 2012
Tuesday 18th December 2012

Any other business

i) Formal referral pathway from pharmacy to PEARS optometrists.

The chair of the Local Pharmacy Committee (LPC), Ravi Mohan had contacted PB enquiring about how to refer particular patients with eye problems. The group agreed with PB, to refer the patient into PEARS using the Minor Aliment Scheme. PEARS are then able to refer straight back for treatment to pharmacists, copying in GPs.

The group went onto further discuss the official route from GPs into PEARS via Single Point Access (SPA). The conversation evolved into introducing training GPs and Practice Managers to the services offered by optometrists. RH described the close working relationship between his practice and the local GP clinic, regularly having trainees attend his practice. SB expressed an interest in promoting an awareness of optometrist service with trainee GPs and Practice Managers, potentially in the New Year.
Action: RH to email RO at the local medical committee (LMC)

The group discussed the possibility of becoming involved with the “Falls” pathway, which is currently under review
Action: RH to enquire with RO

JA raised concerns about losing referrals within the system. The committee reassured that the responsibility is the GPs whether to refer onwards or not, either to PEARS or secondary care.

ii) National Optometric Conference (NOC)

The committee members didn’t have any issues for PB to raise at the NOC, the following day, Wednesday 2nd November 2011. A discussion arose regarding the how NOC would operate in the future, and it was suggested until clarity was identified within the NHS, questions and queries would remain uncertain

The conversation evolved into a group discussion about the transitional period and how services are commissioned and represented at Cluster level. RH expressed the importance of having representation at Clinical commissioning. The group went onto discuss the future commissioning of functions and contracts.

SW commented that there was confusion at the Clinical commissioning summit regarding the future, although there appeared to be less confusion within Sheffield. Optometrist presence is not required at all the meetings, but the group did feel that it was important to have representation. The group discussed possible attendees to the next meeting on the 16th December 2011.

iii) Website update

It was highlighted that the cataract form on the website needs updating.

The group discussed the emulations of forms and the cost saving of an electronic format

iv) Committee Positions

RH pointed out that this year was the proposed year that the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer should step down, however RH had spoken to PB and HB and they had all agreed that if the committee wanted them to they would probably continue in their current roles. This would be voted within the AGM meeting, next year.

RH also wanted to propose, if the group amenable, to change to the committees bank account/details. This is because HB is still struggling to obtain full access to the current account. HB to arrange and inform the committee accordingly.

v) Complaints

A complaint had been received by the committee which prompted the group to discuss protocol for dealing with complaints. The committee agreed that complaints should be handled and investigated by two LOC members. HW volunteered as the PEARS optometrist and DM as the Non-PEARS optometrist.
Action: DM and HW to investigate current compliant.

vi) Eye examinations

The group clarified for David that patients are not entitled to a NHS funded eye examination if it is within two years of a private eye examination. The benefit voucher specifies only every two years. People coming back within a year could possible have issues. As retirement age goes up the committee speculated that there will be an increase in the demand for a free eye test

vii) Screening

The group discussed the confusion from patients thinking the diabetic screening test preformed by the Hallamshire was the same as an eye test within the community. There is a need to re-educated patients that this is not the case and both eye tests are equally as important.

viii) GOS 18 Examples

SW explained to the group that she was collating examples of both good and bad completed GOS 18 from triaging optometrists. SW is expecting to build up a selection and appraise them with the use of funding from a Doucette. The group went onto discuss the benefit of such appraisals, partially an individual scenario, where a referral took 3 months to get to a PEARS optometrists because the correct protocol was not followed.
Action: Triaging optometrist to send GOS 18 Examples to SW

ix) Primary Care Collaboration meeting

MD extended an invite, received from Dr Boyle, to the committee to attend a primary care collaboration meeting with practice manager. The meeting is the 9th December at 12.30pm at Birley Health Centre. RH to attend with MD
Action: RH and MD to attend meeting.

Meeting closed at 9pm

Date of next meeting
Monday 12th December 2011

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