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Opchat Magazine LOC News pagesLOC & Commissioning News, January to March 2021

Breaking News March 17th Wales – £500 reward for Welsh Optometrists
Wales – Minister praises primary eye care providers
Experts celebrate primary eye care success in Scotland
Locums and non-NHS practices to register for Covid-19 vaccination
News from October to December 2020 on LOCs and Commissioning

Breaking News March 17th Wales – £500 reward for Welsh Optometrists

March 2021

Breaking News March 17th Wales – Backs up Minister's praising speech with a £500 reward for primary care workers including Optometrists

In a broadcast on UK main news at lunchtime today it was confirmed that Optometrists will be among others to receive a £500 thank you from the Welsh Government for keeping going and keeping people safe and well during the pandemic.

This Follows a similar payment made by the Scottish Health Board recently.

We will follow with more information as news is received.

Wales – Minister praises primary eye care providers

March 2021

In a written statement on access to primary care services, Wales’s health minister, Vaughan Gething, said that access to primary care had remained a priority throughout the pandemic.

He said: “Services have had to find ways to respond to the unique requirements of the pandemic, including social distancing, increased infection control measures and reducing physical contact where appropriate. This has been balanced with the need to maintain essential services and reintroduce routine services.”

Commenting on eye care, he said that “primary care optometry continues to respond swiftly and innovatively to patient demand during the pandemic, supporting wider primary healthcare provision”.

He added: “During the recovery period, optometry is working with the Welsh Government and other key stakeholders to implement contract reform, moving to a clinical service model. This is a substantial change but one that will improve service delivery for the profession and improve outcomes for patients during the next decade.”

Read the Minister’s full statement.

Experts celebrate primary eye care success in Scotland

March 2021

An expert working group has published its review of the General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) contract in Scotland. The group said: “Before 2006, approximately 25% of acute emergency eye cases were managed within a community setting whereas in 2018, over 80% of acute eye conditions were managed by community optometrists.”

To maintain Scotland’s status as a world-leading primary eye care service, the report recommends that:

• Universal access to NHS funded eye care should remain, as this has supported equality in access, early detection and monitoring of health conditions, and improved service efficiencies within primary and secondary care

• There should be a rolling three-year funding settlement with the Scottish Government to support current services and further innovation, with an inbuilt minimum of 3% per annum, in real terms, on the fees for each item of service delivered

• More needs to be done to support the use of innovative technologies like Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in primary care, ensuring best practice models like those in Grampian and Lanarkshire are rolled out nationally, improving access to domiciliary services and training and education.

The group has also called for establishing RNIB’s “Low Vision Plan” which is reflective of the Welsh Low Vision Service to ensure “equitable and consistent service provision across Scotland”.

James Adams, Director at RNIB Scotland, said: “Optometrists can spot the first signs of sight problems when impairment of vision can be arrested or even reversed – it is therefore crucially important to promote the uptake of free eye examinations in Scotland.”

FODO Scotland Chair Kathryn Trimmer said “I am delighted to see input from all sectors in this comprehensive report. All with the shared aim of continuing and building on the excellent service provision in community Optometry in Scotland”

Read the full Policy Report.

Locums and non-NHS practices to register for Covid-19 vaccination

February 2021

LOCSU appeals to all optical staff, NHS or Private to register for the Covid Vaccination.

All optical practice staff are a priority group for Covid-19 vaccination.

LOCs are working across England facilitating local processes to ensure staff employed in GOS practices are invited for their vaccine. This work is moving ahead rapidly and we would like to thank all LOCs for their ongoing work in very challenging circumstances.

The published government guidance confirms that Locums and non-NHS provider practices are entitled to be included in this phase of the vaccination process. There are various ways that Locums and non-NHS providing practices can be included on a list to receive a vaccination:

• Locums and non-NHS provider practices who are aware of their local LOC, please contact them to be added to the lists being created. Click here to access the LOC-Online portal with links to all LOCs in England with a web presence.

• Locums may be included on a practice list submitted to the local LOC as above. Please check with practices you work with to find out whether this is the case.

• Locums may also be able to register directly with their CCG or PCN. If you have these relationships then please make contact to establish whether you are included on a list.

If you are a Locum and none of the above applies to you, please complete the Locum Form. This will ensure that you are included on the vaccination list.

If you are a non-NHS practice and none of the above applies to you, please complete the Non-NHS Practices Form  to add you and your staff to the vaccination list.

LOCSU says your details will be passed to the LOC to be included in their local processes.



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