Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

Sheffield LOC Meeting 20th January 2009

SLOC Minutes of the Meeting
Held on Tuesday 20 January 2009

Present: Phil Banton, Shirley Blundell, Gerry Cowley, Mike Daybell (Chair), Rob Hughes,
Sue Stentiford, Ian Van Hoof

Apologies: Alex Gage, David Inman, Richard Oliver, Will Walters, John Whittle

Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the last meeting held on Tuesday 2 December 2008 were amended at the request of Ian to report that attendance at the ‘Children’s Eye Care Education Day’ would NOT be mandatory for participating in children’s eye care pathway.
The minutes were then accepted as a correct record. Proposed Rob Hughes – Seconded Sue Stentiford
Prior to the items on the agenda some discussion took place regarding Alex Gage’s decision to resign as current SLOC secretary. Mike expressed gratitude for the work Alex had done and proposed Rob Hughes for the position. The committee present seconded this proposal

Matters Arising

• The quality of service provided by the LOCSU was discussed. Gerry, Mike and Shirley reported delayed or poor responses to emails. Mike had requested that Harold Atkinson email him specimen SLA’s for PEARS and GRR but this information was not forthcoming. Mike will email Georgina Gordon (Chief Exec LOCSU) instead. The future working relationship with the LOCSU was questioned. As money has already been collected through the statutory levy with the specific purpose of paying for the LOCSU, it was decided to use the LOCSU this year but alternatives would be discussed at the next AGM .
• Simon Longstaff has approved using the GRR form for referrals into the glaucoma clinic

I. PEARS (formerly Triage Proposals): Mike reported the pilot to be working well with only minor problems. Some GP’s are referring ‘non-PEARS’ conditions (eg Keratoconus) into the scheme. Lynda Liddament is arranging a meeting between GP’s and PEARS optometrists to address some of these problems. Finance is now available for a future PEARS training session.

II. Glaucoma Referral Refinement: Finance is available for further glaucoma training. Optometrists attending the session(s) are to be accredited and able to receive referrals from other practitioners. Once the training session is arranged Mike will write to all optoms with scheme information and accreditation details. There was some discussion about proposed NICE guidelines for the management of glaucoma and ocular hypertension. The proposals consider pachymetry and gonioscopy essential examinations for detecting these conditions. How this may affect the future of GRR remains unclear.

III. Children’s Eye Care: The Children’s Eye Care Conference is to be held 11 Feb 2009 at the Beauchief Hotel, Sheffield starting at 1.30pm. Ian has applied for CET for this event.

Gerry, Shirley and Mike met Kay Logan and Jonathan Smith (PCT management trainee) to discuss the Paediatric Referral Refinement (PRR) scheme. Kay explained that various alternative approaches to children’s screening were to be considered at the next Ophthalmology Strategy Group (OSG) meeting (21 January 2009). None of the alternatives to be considered are school nurse / orthoptic screening followed by optometric refinement. Shirley explained that PRR was independent of the screening process and wants the scheme to move forward irrespectively. Mike agreed to raise this point at the OSG meeting. Shirley will meet Kay Logan again following the OSG meeting.
Shirley also spoke to Peter Tiffin (Ophthalmologist) who developed the PRR for Sunderland. He agreed to allow Sheffield to use aspects of their scheme including paperwork, etc.

IV. Diabetic Eye Screening: Rob Hughes met with John Soady (NHS commissioner) and discussed the English National Screening Programme for Diabetic Retinopathy Screening (ENSPDR) report. The report criticised aspects of the current scheme and recommended it should be placed on the PCT ‘at risk’ register. Current methods of patient data transfer, (currently CD rather than IT link) were felt to be unsatisfactory. The report criticised the scheme for inaccurate and delayed image grading. The scheme fails to have a system to detect patients requiring urgent assessment / treatment (e.g. maculopathy). Above all else Mr.Soady wants this issue to be addressed. Rob raised with Mr. Soady the possibility of optometrists doing the primary grading in practice. Rob to email scheme co-ordinators in Manchester and Coventry for information about their schemes.

V. Low Vision Group: Rob to email everyone on the mailing list to ask anyone with an interest in developing a ‘low vision pathway’ to contact the committee.

VI. Primary Care Trust: Primary Care Strategy Consortia Based Stakeholder Engagement Events are being held at the Northern General. Phil to attend 22 January. Sue to attend 30 January.

VII. Website: Rob to make minor changes to information on the website and to fix some of the links that are not working properly.


Any Other Business
Gerry reported the committee has a further 3 years Inland Revenue tax break.
He requested that committee members should submit itemised expenses claims at least annually. He also requested that members report any additional meetings attended. This may be in the form of an email or reported at the regular LOC meeting. These additional meetings should then be itemised on the annual claims form.

There was some discussion about how members holding official committee positions should claim for time doing LOC work outside of meetings (i.e. responding to emails etc). It was felt that a basic rate of 2 hours per month should be claimed.
Mileage should not be claimed for local meetings (within the Sheffield area) and should be claimed at a rate of 60p for the first 60 miles, and 25p thereafter (or full train fare).
Gerry suggested that from April 2009 the hourly rate for LOC work should be raised to £60 and the daily rate be raised to £400.

Dates for Next Meetings:
Tuesday 24 February
Tuesday 24 March
Tuesday 12 May
Tuesday 7 July

Meeting closed at 9.40pm

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