Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

Sheffield LOC Meeting 2nd August 2010

SLOC Minutes of the Meeting
Held on Monday 2nd August 2010

Present: Phil Banton (PB), Helen Bailey (HB), Shirley Blundell (SB), Gerry Cowley (GC), Rob Hughes (RH) (Chair), David Inman (DI), Helen Wilkinson (HW), Sue Wilford (SW)

Apologies : Mike Daybell, Alex Gage, Steven Haigh, Tanveer Hussain, Azad Nawaz, Habib Shah, Ian Van Hoof

Guests: Richard Oliver (RO), Alastair Mew (AM)

Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the last meeting held on Tuesday 29 June 2010 were accepted as a correct record after two minor alterations

I. Glaucoma HB and AN attended a meeting with Simon Longstaff (SL) to discuss future proposals for the management of glaucoma patients in Sheffield. SL’s proposal is to establish community clinics for patients to attend to undergo applanation tonometry, VA, HRT, visual field, pachymetry and photography. He proposes that the tests will be performed by technicians with the results being fed back to SL for analysis. When questioned about the possibility of patients with stable glaucoma being monitored by community optometrists SL stated that he thought this could potentially be detrimental to the patient as he feels that optometrists lack the necessary skills and specialist equipment found in a hospital department.

PB spoke to the Chair of Manchester LOC, Paul Showman about the new ‘OHT’ scheme operating in Manchester. The majority of optometrists in Manchester recently underwent a Goldman tonometry accreditation process. Following a reading of raised intraocular pressure using an NCT, optometrists perform Goldman applanation tonometry and receive a fee for doing so. The committee felt that this was something that could be adopted in Sheffield. RO and AM recommended the committee write a business case for the PCT

II. PRR. SB reported that a letter is due to be sent by the PCT on behalf of the LOC in support of the PRR scheme and the simplified procurement process. The PCT has recognised that a great deal of informatio initially required from practitioners can actually be obtained at the three yearly practice visits It is hoped that as it is now much easier to join the scheme, there will be a positive uptake across the city. PB will email a copy of the letter to the LOC mailing list as soon as possible, documents and paperwork relating to the scheme are now on the website.

A launch event is being held at the PCT on Wed 8th September. Orthoptic screening is due to begin in October 2010 and it is hoped that optometrists can begin to receive referrals from then.

III. PEARS / TRIAGE: PB reported a recent incident of a referral into PEARS following the triage of an ambiguous GOS18. The patient was found to have suffered a detached retina so was referred to the hospital for emergency treatment. A letter was sent to all PEARS optometrists to request that all PEARS referrals are read upon receipt. If the referral indicates a potentially sight threatening condition the PEARS optometrist should make efforts to see the patient within 48 hours. One PEARS optometrist has contacted the LOC as she is unable to fulfil this requirement. The majority view of the committee is that this puts patients at risk the optometrist should withdraw from the scheme. PB will discuss this with the optometrist concerned

A second letter is being sent from the PCT asking optometry practices and GP practices to provide PEARS optometrists with patient contact details if requested
RO discussed how to manage patients presenting with suspected TIA. He recommended that these patients are referred top their own GP as soon as possible and that the optometrists calls the patients GP with details. The alternative is to advise that these patients attend eye casualty.

If a GOS18 for a patient with suspect TIA is received for triage the triaging optometrist should contact the both the patients GP and also the patient to advise they see their GP as soon as possible. PB will contact the triaging optometrists with this information.

IV. GOS18. DI reported the PCT had received a letter from a GP surgery about the poor quality of GOS18’s sent some practices. There have been examples of illegible GOS18’s and others without patient or optometrist identification. RH is to send a letter from the LOC to all performers asking that GOS18 referrals contain all the information needed to process the referral effectively.

V. NHSmail Currently the system of obtaining an NHS mail account is tortuous and requires a ‘sponsor’ at the PCT for each optometrist requiring an account. RH has asked the PCT for the system to be changed to make it easier to obtain an NHS mail account


The NHS AGM is to be held on Monday 6 September. RH to attend

Any Other Business

RH commented that the PCT have offered to sell any surplus DESP cameras to optometrists currently involved in screening once the current service comes to an end. The PCT are asking for three thousand pounds per camera. It is expected that demand will be greater than supply. If this is the case the PCT have suggested that they will ‘pick names from a hat’. DI suggested that sealed bids may be more appropriate. PB will discuss this with the PCT at the next DESP meeting.

Representatives from the LPC have been invited to the next LOC meeting.

GC mentioned a forthcoming social event to mark 150 years of the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind.

RO and PB attended a meeting about the NHS white paper ‘Equity and Excellence:Liberating the NHS’ which focussed on the massive restructuring of the NHS. Importantly GP consortia will be commission NHS services and PCT’s will cease to exist. The LOC is therefore encouraged to begin to form closer links with existing GP consortia.

Date for next meeting: Tuesday 21st September 2010
Beauchief Hotel – Abbeydale Road
Meeting closed at 9.30

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