Sheffield Local Optometric Committee

Secretary’s Report Year Ending 31st MArch 2009

LOC Secretary Report 2009

First, thanks to Alex for his work as secretary over the past year.

It’s been another busy year for the LOC, the committee has met 11 times since the last AGM, and this year we seem to be getting further with some of the schemes we’ve been trying to introduce over the past few years.

The PEARS scheme pilot has gone well, saving the PCT a significant amount of money, and making increased use of optometrists’ professional skills. It is an exciting time as this is due to roll out across Sheffield in the next year.

The glaucoma referral refinement scheme has also cut the number of inappropriate referrals into the Hallamshire, although the new NICE guidelines inevitably mean that the number of referrals will increase, until such a time when optometrists start to perform pachymetry and gonioscopy an all glaucoma suspects.

Childs eye care is also making progress, with continuing discussions amongst all parties, and there was a particularly well received child’s eye care afternoon recently.

Progress is also slowly being made with the diabetes eye screening program to utilise optometrist’s skills at disease diagnosis, rather than the ability to take photos, but the PCT and Hallamshire seem very disorganised, with neither knowing what the other is doing. This is frustrating for patients and optoms alike, and progress needs to be much faster.

As secretary, the biggest task I have is maintaining the website. The biggest disappointment is the low number of people subscribed to our mailing list. The more people who subscribe, the better we can communicate with the Sheffield optometrists, on whose behalf we do all this work.

Thanks go to everyone involved with each scheme. Here’s hoping that next year will continue to bring in new successful schemes.

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