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Opchat Magazine LOC News pagesLOC News, October to December 2017

MECS role for Contact Lens Opticians announced by joint working group.
LOCSU 2017 Report of one day meeting
Countdown to NOC Conference  ---   5 weeks to go!

MECS role for Contact Lens Opticians announced by joint working group.

December 2017

Ajoint project between ABDO, LOCSU and WOPEC means that CLOs can now for enrol for accreditation to deliver extended primary care eye services.

Barry Duncan

LOCSU announced last week taht a programme which covers MECS and Glaucoma Repeat Measures pathways is now available for CLOs to enrol via the WOPEC online learning platform.

ABDO have worked extensively with colleagues at both WOPEC and LOCSU over a lengthy period to make this possible.

It is envisaged that ABDO Extended Services Days will take place in the spring of 2018 with OSCEs following shortly after.

Announcing the news, Barry Duncan (pictured left), ABDO Head of Policy and Development, said:” Clearly this represents an excellent opportunity for CLOs to extend their scope of practice and utilise existing and new skills.

For those who are keen to progress the opportunity to be diverse and take on a more pronounced health care role will be rewarding in many ways.”

Full details of the MECS programme can be found on the ABDO website.

ABDO are supporters of your free Opchat News and you can visit the ABDO pages to review many of the courses that are now on offer here.

LOCSU 2017 Report of one day meeting

November 2017

PEC consolidation the next priority, NOC hears

Developing the Primary Eyecare Company model to improve consistency is a major objective for the sector in the coming year, delegates heard at last week’s NOC.

Consolidating and reducing the number of PECs to address the current NHS commissioning landscape of Sustainable Transformation Partnerships was vital to evolve the model LOCSU’s Richard Whittington told LOCs.

The current commissioning landscape of over 200 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) which LOCs have to negotiate with to introduce primary eye care services is set to work more collaboratively through 44 STPs.

LOCs are being urged to embrace a consolidation of Primary Eyecare Companies around STP and multiple STP footprints. This would see the number of PECs reduce. The successful establishment of the Southern PEC covering 10 LOCs already offers a template for fewer eyecare companies.

“This will improve PEC professionalism, improve consistency of delivery and drive down costs," Whittington said.

The LOCSU COO told delegates that a long-term rationalisation towards even a single national eyecare company could help the sector address challenges coming down the track; for example, complying with the NHS Standard Contract and potential interaction with the Care Quality Commission.

How the day went for many first time attenders.

More than 200 delegates, one quarter of them first-time attendees, gathered in Warwickshire for the new-look, one-day conference.

The speaker’s agenda was streamlined down and delegates were able to choose from a choice of five workshops and three panel discussions.

PEC professionalism was at the heart of each workshop, with delegates able to attend two during the morning session.

The 75-minute workshops covered:

• A Day in the Life of a CGPL

• Governance

• Commissioning Eyecare through STPs

• Community Monitoring for Glaucoma

• Introduction to Commissioning

CGPL role of 'growing importance', Forum told

Clinical Governance and Performance Leads are currently carrying out one of the most vital roles in the optical sector,

LOCSU’s Chief Operating Officer, declared to a packed meeting of those undertaking CGPL duties within Primary Eyecare Companies.

A group of just under 30 CGPLs attended a special pre-NOC Forum, chaired by Simone Mason, LOCSU’s Digital Learning Support Officer and Abi Page, LOCSU Board Member.

Richard Whittington
Richard Whittington (left) predicted that – with the consolidation of PECs and the rise in the number of extended primary eyecare services – the importance and scope of the CGPL role was only going to grow in significance.

The Forum gave a platform for those currently working as CGPLs to explain what their role encompassed in different Primary Eyecare Companies and with those responsible for delivering a variety of eyecare pathways.

Taking a brainstorming approach, the Forum explored terminology, roles and duties, potential support and ongoing communication through a new forum community, dubbed the “CGPL Crowd”.

Speaking to LOCSU Latest following the event, Simone Mason said: “As expected there is a lot of variation and some confusion across LOCs and PECs as to what the roles and duties of the CGP Lead involves.

“The Forum was a chance to hear from those at the rock-face. It was great to see so much involvement and enthusiasm from those decision makers who deal with the real-time data and bring their voices into the conversation about the support they require.”

As part of the LOCSU team, Simone will now be implementing a series of quick wins which include a new updated role description template, new “how-to” guides, establishing of a new online community and a producing a dedicated newsletter to take other support priorities forward.

New Vision UK chief calls for closer collaboration with community sector

LOCs were urged to join with other eye health campaigners to press for a better deal for people suffering sight loss.

In a personal and inspiring speech from new Vision UK chief, Keith Valentine told NOC delegates that, together, they can help challenge ignorance, low expectations and poor service that lead to social exclusion.

Keith ValentineKeith (pictured right) has a background in leading urban renewal programmes but, as his own vision deteriorated, turned his energies to the sight loss sector spending the last five years holding senior positions at Thomas Pocklington Trust and RNIB.

The guest NOC speaker said that the society had much to do to improve on the high-levels of unemployment among visually impaired people in relation to other disabilities and in spite of advances in technology.

Keith said that by changing attitudes and services, we can empower people to lead independent lives and achieve greater social inclusion.

Delegates heard that his four transformational priorities as part of a refocussed strategy consisted of:

• Establishing widely agreed statistics on the prevalence of sight loss.

• Promoting the advancement of scientific research leading to cures and treatments

• A new deal for blind and visually impaired people from the voluntary sector

• Changing public opinion towards sight loss

Countdown to NOC Conference  ---   5 weeks to go!

October 2017

With just five weeks to go until NOC 2017, the programme is starting to take shape.

As reported previously, this year’s new-look, one-day conference has a strong focus on practical skills which delegates will find invaluable in their day-to-day duties on LOCs and in Primary Eyecare Companies.

There is a particular emphasis on support for Clinical Governance & Performance Leads.

With many Primary Eyecare Companies delivering live services, the role is growing in importance and LOCSU is keen to bolster support.

A special CGLP Forum is planned for the evening before the NOC begins. It will be chaired by our new Digital Learning Support Officer who will be spearheading a series of CGPL-focussed learning, including the dedicated CGPL workshop with a totally new content, including real-life scenarios.

Indeed, we are urging LOCs to ensure that the CGP Lead is one of the delegation attending this year’s conference, particularly the CGPL Forum on Wednesday 8 November. More details are outlined below.

Although each LOC receives a free place, we are encouraging LOCs to send a mix of delegates, both new officers, first-time NOC attendees and experienced officers. The NOC programme has been careful devised with a laser-like focus on practical skills offering the chance to attend two of the five workshops and two of the discussion panels. So, whether you are a LOC officer, a PEC director or CGPL, NOC 2017 has something for everyone, not forgetting the networking opportunities.

See the full programme, choose your workshop and book now!.

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