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Opchat Magazine LOC News pagesLOC & Commissioning News, April to June 2020

LOCSU introduces two further clinical pathways to broaden primary care offer
LOCSU announces "Maculopathy Referral Filtering and Monitoring Pathway"
PPE for Optical Practices Available Now from New Online Shop
CUES Podcast Online Now
News from January to March 2020 on LOC and Commissioning

LOCSU introduces two further clinical pathways to broaden primary care offer

June 2020

Following the launch of The Maculopathy Referral Filtering and Monitoring Pathway is an end-to-end service pathway a further 2 pathways have been annaounced.

LOCSU Child Integrated Care Pathway

The new service for children allows for early intervention and management of poor vison via an integrated service model delivered in optical practice.

This pathway supports partnership working; primary care practitioners and the hospital paediatric team working together to provide care closer to home for children.

The service provides an alternative to the Hospital Eye Service for children who are found to have poor vision and have been referred to the hospital, as well as for children already under the care of the hospital eye service and considered suitable for care in optical practice, within the integrated service.

Where commissioned, the diagnostic pathway following child vision screening is also part of the child integrated eye care pathway. The updated pathway is available here.
Zoe Richmond, LOCSU Interim Clinical Director, suggests “At a time where the NHS are trying to reduce the footfall to hospitals, this new pathway offers support to the hospital paediatric team by allowing children to have some or all of their care in optical practice.”

Healthy Living Optical Practice

The message from the NOC last year was very clear – there is a strong interest in the Healthy Living Optical Practice model. Akin to the Healthy Living Pharmacy model, LOCSU’s Healthy Living Optical Practice (HLOP) Framework is focused on improving the health and wellbeing of the population and is intended to help reduce local health inequalities.

At its simplest level, HLOP involves brief interventions and signposting to appropriate services via conversations supported by leaflets/websites. It isn’t a standalone service but delivers added value to any area already delivering the core primary eyecare service pathways.

Many practices may already be delivering brief interventions in their everyday practice. This could include signposting to local stop smoking services or a very brief intervention to both identify and assess potential risk factors for falls and then support access to local provision.

The level 2 service is more involved, delivering more targeted intervention, as such this level involves local commissioning and is intended for practices who wish to develop their healthy living optical practice further.
Simone Mason, Digital Learning Support Officer for LOCSU said “LOCSU are already a Royal Society for Public Health approved training centre. We offer a nationally recognised qualification: to support Level 2 Understanding Health Improvement, which enables optical practice staff to become ‘Health Champions’”. She adds “We also offer the Healthy Living Optical Practice leadership training course, aimed at the practice manager or owner. As a leader of the HLOP they will create a culture of health and wellbeing for the practice team as well as the patients”.

The HLOP pathway framework is available to download from the LOCSU Members Area (please login before accessing link)

LOCSU announces "Maculopathy Referral Filtering and Monitoring Pathway"

May 2020

The Maculopathy Referral Filtering and Monitoring Pathway is an end-to-end service pathway which aims to improve the efficiency and accuracy of case-finding for AMD, for both new and review patients, to improve the speed at which people are diagnosed and treated within the hospital eye service (HES), to help prevent loss of sight.

The pathway, which was initially ready to publish prior to the ceasing of routine activity, has been updated in May 2020 to align to CUES (COVID-19 Urgent Eyecare Service). It describes how primary care optical practice can better support the early identification and referral of people presenting with wet maculopathy. The condition can develop quickly causing central vision loss, however, many cases are treatable meaning that early identification and fast track referral are essential.

The pathway will be of great value to practices currently delivering urgent eyecare, as part of a CUES Service or otherwise, allowing patients to be treated more efficiently and accurately. It is a whole system pathway which allows referral filtering for people presenting with signs and symptoms of wet maculopathy but also for the monitoring of patients who have late stage disease.

The pathway includes how routine monitoring can be delivered within optical practice. Patients with late AMD who have identified a change following self-monitoring are also included.When routine activity resumes, patients following routine diabetic screening who require further checks to rule out wet maculopathy can also be seen within the service, reducing the numbers attending the HES.

Read more here

PPE for Optical Practices Available Now from New Online Shop

May 2020

Access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that meets the necessary clinical protection standards is critical to optical practices’ ability to offer the new Covid-19 Urgent Eyecare Service (CUES), as well as essential services, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Clear guidance has been issued by Public Health England and the College of Optometrists stating that PPE must be used during face to face consultations to protect practice staff and patients. However, sourcing and securing PPE is a significant difficulty at present, and a major obstacle for individual practices.

To ensure that all practices can quickly access affordable PPE when they need it, LOCSU together with Primary Eyecare Services (PES) have undertaken a joint initiative to make PPE available for purchase by optical practices via a new online shop, The shop will operate on a non-profit basis, offering the PHE recommended range of PPE including masks, aprons, face visors and gloves. All items have been sourced at the lowest available price and a free delivery option is available.

Under the joint initiative, LOCSU and PES have participated in discussions to identify sources of quality PPE at national and local levels. PES as a lead provider of clinical services will purchase the equipment, facilitate practice orders and manage distribution for the benefit of all practices who wish to purchase. All practices in England will be able to access PPE via the online shop (subject to availability), regardless of primary eyecare company affiliation. This service is intended to benefit the whole of the sector based on need.

Mike Fegan, Chair of LOCSU and PES, comments: “I am really pleased that LOCSU and PES are able to work together to help provide access to PPE to practices across England. Access to PPE has been a huge problem and I hope that this initiative goes some way to ensuring that all practices can assess the PPE that they need.
Throughout the planning for this initiative, our overriding concern has been to locate a sustainable source of PPE that will ensure that practices can continue to provide outstanding patient care during the current challenging conditions."

Primary Eyecare Services’ position as the biggest provider of locally commissioned primary eye care services, working in 75% of all LOC areas in England, made it the obvious partner for LOCSU. PES is using its scale and infrastructure to purchase and manage the distribution of the required PPE for the benefit of the sector and we hope the sector will acknowledge the resources and effort that have gone into making this happen”

Stock availability will be closely monitored and order quantities will be limited to ensure that the maximum possible number of practices can benefit from purchasing PPE from a trusted central source.

CUES Podcast Online Now

April 2020

Fresh from announcing the Covid-19 Urgent Eyecare Service (CUES), LOCSU’s CEO Richard Whittington is joined by Senior Optical Lead and Clinical Director Zoe Richmond and Optical Lead Tom Mackley.

They discuss what CUES is, the difference between MECS & CUES, and how CUES could help shape the future of primary eyecare.

Due to government social distancing and lockdown restrictions, the podcast is recorded remotely and isn’t up to our usual audio standards.

Listen via BuzzsproutSpotify, Apple or Deezer..

If you have questions or feedback LOCSU advise you to contact your Optical Lead, we want to include your views in future editions and might even invite you to take part!


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