Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

Sheffield LOC meeting 7th December 2010

Sheffield Local Optical Committee

SLOC Minutes of the Meeting

Held: Tuesday 7th December 2010

Present: Shirley Blundell (SB), Gerry Cowley (GC), Rob Hughes (RH) (Chair), David Inman (DI), Deborah Mullens (DM), Azad Nawaz (AN), Habib Shah (HS), Sue Wilford (SW – left at 2033hrs).

Steven Haigh (SH), Richard Oliver (RO),

Attendees: Louise Lambert (LL) (Minutes)

Apologies: Phil Banton (PB), Helen Bailey (HB), Mike Daybell (MD), Alex Gage (AG), Tanveer Hussain (TH), Alastair Mews (AM) – NHS Sheffield, Helen Wilkinson (HW)

Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the last meeting held on Monday 1st November 2010 were accepted as a correct record. Proposed by RH and Seconded by GC

Matters Arising

1. Low Vision

The group discussed the recent visit, 16th November 2010 to the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB), Mapping Street. The group agreed that the visit was successful and the services offered to patients where excellent. RH proposed, to the group, to donate £500 seconded by GC, to express gratitude to SRSB, for their hospitality.

The group further discussed services offered, including the ability to do home visits having the required skills, equipment and resources, unlike Royal Hallamshire, SRSB does not loan equipment out. It was posed to the PCT the possibility of a formal arrangement, with SRSB. AM is currently investigating costs
Action: AM to feedback results

Low vision in the community, business case was initially discussed, if greater service and benefit to patient, for the same or lower costs can be established the PCT would be willing to further examine moving from secondary into community care.

The current coverage of optometrists across the city would not be enough to support a community scheme, primarily aimed at the “hard to reach”. SRSB do currently visit patients at home (mainly housebound) including, hard to reach areas also having the benefit of patient transport
Action: RH to enquire with Mappin Street the number of patient assessments.

The assessment criteria for SRSB, Mappin Street and Hallamshire requires clarification
Action: AH to clarify community numbers and to enquire Hallamshire low vision patient assessment numbers
Action: AH and HB to investigate numbers and values

Now familiar with services offered by SRSB it was suggested that optometrists could utilise the facilities further.

Fund raising for SRSB, Mappin Street was discussed, collecting stamps, individual practices adopting a charity and collection boxes within practices.
Action: To assess interest from practices.
Action: Enquire with SRSB if they have collection boxes

2. Diabetes Eye Screening

Letters to optometrists have been sent, outlining the scheme arrangements. The group discussed the details of referral pathways and concluded to send diabetics screening directly through GOS18 and not the Primary Eyecare Acute Referral Scheme (PEARS).

The group attempted to refine the diabetics screening processes. Community Optometrists (CO’s) will not rescreen basic photographs but communicate concerns with or refer into secondary care.

SH to investigate screening programme to allow the Referral Information Service (RIS) to refer directly to secondary care and not the triaging service, avoiding duplication. RIS to be informed of changes to the scheme Action: SH to investigate and inform RIS of new working practices

The group discussed the advantages of CO’s having access to patients photographs, no longer have diabetic cameras due to Diabetes Eye Screening Program (DESP) ending. The IT requirements and the benefits of CO’s having access to patient information was discussed in detail. SH to investigate further.
Action: SH to investigate

The group concluded that all CO’s have been informed that from the 1st February 2011 there will be no community screening.
Action: RO to check with Jenny Stevens and inform all GPs.


The provisional launch date is 13th December 2010.
Action: RH to communicate with optometrists who have expressed interest

The group confirmed that Goldmann applanation tonmetry (GAT) was the preferred equipment, being purchased, however Perkins tonmeter could be used.

If optometrists have not signed up for Any Willing Provider (AWP), they will be receiving a letter from Caroline Mabbott (CM).
Action: List of Optometrists that have expressed interest in CATS to be given to CM – Sheffield PCT

The group was informed that CATS forms are now available on the website.

4. Community Glaucoma Monitoring

The group discussed the feasibility of Community Glaucoma Monitoring, various options were discussed and it was agreed that nationally the shared care monitoring has not been addressed successfully.

Further concerns were that optometrists would require a diploma and disc photography to be a minimum necessity, making it not beneficial or cost effective. The group further went onto discuss potential ways forward, perhaps employing technicians across the city being more cost effective.

At this time it was felt that CO’s are not equipped to monitor USI examination.
Action: SH to formally write to Julie Ward and copy in SLOC


Any other business

RO informed the group for information – After a recent PCT board meeting that the referral pathways for Orthopaedics, Dermatology and Orthodontics have been asked to defer non-urgent referrals until April 2011. He highlighted concerns that may be raised from patients, although ophthalmology is currently not affected.

A query was raised regarding RIS not leaving voicemail/answer machine messages for patients. The group concluded that this was part of information governance and patient confidential.

Having been officially notified of Jan Sobieraj (Chief Executive – Sheffield PCT) secondment, RH enquired as Jan had expressed interest in attending a SLOC meeting would his successor Ian Atkinson(IAA) also be interested.
Action: Dates of meeting to be issued to IAA

The group discussed the future of RIS. It was felt the service offered by RIS was integral part of PEARS. Currently no decision has been made regarding RIS whether it would be absorbed into various trusts or continue, cases would be put forward highlighting the substantiality without RIS of the various service, including PEARS.

SW enquired on AG behalf whether anyone was aware of any issues regarding CRB checks. Currently AG is not receiving any referrals and when enquires were made to RIS the response was they were waiting for something and he was unable to receive Paediatric referrals (PRR), it was unclear why

Further clarification was required from Caroline Mabbott, if there was anything stopping RIS putting optometrist on the PRR list.
Action: RH enquiring with CM

After obtaining further clarification, from the Association of Optometrists (AOP), it was agreed that that there is no statutory requirement for SLOC to complete the self-assessment forms, that were previously discussed at the last meeting, Monday 1st November 2010.

Action: RH to pass the draft cataracts letter to SH.

Date of next meeting;

Monday 17th January 2011 at 19:30hrs, Beauchief Hotel, Abbeydale Road
Apologies received from RO

Meeting Closed: 20:40hrs

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Bramall Lane
S2 4SU

at 19:30 Tuesday 8th January

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