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Opchat Magazine LOC News pagesLOC & Commissioning News, July to September 2019

Introducing the LOCSU Optical Lead team
LOCSU publishes pathway for patients on long-term hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine
Read the archived LOC and commissioning news here

Introducing the LOCSU Optical Lead team

July 2019

The new LOCSU Optical Lead team is now in place and able to support LOCs across a range of issues, from LOC specific questions and queries through to the facilitation of discussions with commissioners and wider stakeholders.

The previous commissioning Lead team was focused, correctly, on the mechanics of the commissioning process and the establishment and support of Primary Eyecare Companies alongside supporting LOCs more generally.

With the emergence of Primary Eyecare Services and other Primary Eyecare Companies LOCSU now has the opportunity to focus a team more fully and specifically on LOC needs as Primary Eyecare Companies find themselves more qualified and experienced to deal with the mechanics of procurement and service delivery.

The new Optical Lead team has been recruited from within the LOCs to ensure that the support LOC receive is both local and delivered by individuals with a local viewpoint. The Optical Leads will be able to supply advice and support to LOCs around areas such as process and succession planning as well as cementing LOC links to the national LOCSU team ensuring that LOCs are able to take full advantage of the training and support that team can offer.

As the NHS moves through the current restructuring and reorganisation there is clear requirement for LOCs to engage with the new and emerging organisations, such as Primary Care Networks, at a local level. Simultaneously there will be a need to engage with the forming Integrated Care Systems at a regional and in some cases on a cross-LOC basis. During the recent induction programme, the Optical Leads and wider LOCSU team have been prepared to support LOCs and networks of LOCs in this task.

Over the next 2 to 3 weeks all LOCs will be contacted by an Optical Lead to discuss any support needs individual LOCs require. The leads will support LOCs to perform a self-evaluation to help identify gaps in knowledge and local support needed. The process is not one size fits all and support and advice will be tailored to individual LOCs and individual needs.

Meet the new team members:

Zoe Richmond

Zoe heads the team of Optical Leads. She is an Optometrist, an active member of Tees Local Optical Committee and experienced member of the LOCSU team having joined in 2011.

Max Halford

Max is a Contact Lens Optician and accredited MECS practitioner working in the South West.

Tom Mackley

Tom is an Optometrist working in both community and hospital settings in the North West, with a particular interest in glaucoma.

Richard Rawlinson

Richard joined LOCSU in April 2016 and has a wide range of professional roles.

Nizz Sabir

Nizz is an Independent Optometrist based in South Yorkshire. He has a keen passion for ophthalmic public health and is keen to develop the role of the profession in a sustainable health and care sector.

Amar Shah

Amar is an Optometrist, with his own Boots Opticians franchise on the outskirts of Bristol.

LOCSU publishes pathway for patients on long-term hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine

July 2019

The Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) has published a new hydroxychloroquine pathway to align with Royal College of Ophthalmology (RCOphth) guidelines published in February 2018.

The guidelines recommended a baseline assessment and annual screening for retinal toxicity for patients on long-term hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine therapy.

The new LOCSU clinical service pathway framework incorporates Medical Retina Monitoring (Hydroxychloroquine), the Medical Retina Monitoring pathway diagram and Medical Retina Monitoring Clinical Management Guidelines.

These allow patients to be assessed in community optical practices as part of a consultant-led service, including a virtual review by a consultant ophthalmologist, to identify patients at risk of vision loss.

It is hoped commissioners and hospital eye departments will take up the new pathway to improve access for patients in the community and relieve pressure on acute hospital capacity.

The pathway can be accessed via your LOC or here.

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