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News from LOCSU

News posted: 25/07/2014

July 2014

  • LOSCU urges strong local response to Call to ActionOpen

    Local data, patient endorsement and a call to end the postcode lottery of eye health services are among the recommended approaches LOCs are being urged to adopt as part of the sector response to the NHS Call to Action (CTA).

    LOCSU is urging LOCs to marry local information with the importance of national commissioning in order to strengthen the case for reform within the NHS. LOCSU recommends that LOCs take the opportunity to highlight to NHS England and commissioners that the piecemeal commissioning of community services such as minor eye conditions, glaucoma repeat readings and cataract referral refinement is adding significantly to NHS transaction costs and is a barrier to service transformation. Read the full guidance here. And don’t forget to send us a copy of any evidence of the effectiveness of local services – audits, patient questionnaires, results, etc ­– to support our national Call to Action response. Email it to

    For details of Call to Action local events hosted by NHS England Area Teams and Local Eye Health Networks see the Call to Action page on the LOCSU website. Please check this page regularly as it will be updated as soon as new events are announced.

    A further Call to Action LOCSU Webinar is being held on 13 August. It aims to help LOCs to make the most of the opportunity the CTA presents to community optics. Visit the booking page.

  • Hayley Rowbotham joins Optical Lead’s teamOpen

    LOCSU is delighted to announce that Hayley Rowbotham will join LOCSU’s Optical Lead’s team in August. Hayley is secretary of Ashton, Leigh and Wigan LOC where she is also and chair of the education committee. Hayley has worked for ASDA Opticians since 2010 and is currently a clinical lead optometrist. Prior to joining ASDA she worked for Boots Opticians. Hayley graduated from Cardiff University and has continued her studies at postgraduate level, successfully completing the LOCSU Leadership Module last year and more recently the Ophthalmic Public Health Course at Leeds.

  • Book now for the National Optical Conference 2014Open

    LOCs are reminded that the NHS “Call to Action for Eye Health” provides the main theme for this year’s National Optical Conference to be held from 23-24 October 2014 in Birmingham. Dr David Geddes, NHS England’s Head of Primary Care Commissioning, has been confirmed as a keynote speaker and is expected to announce the initial findings of the Call to Action and to give his perspective on the way services will be commissioned in the future. The full programme of sessions and keynote speakers will be announced in LOCSU News over the coming months.

    To book a place click here. Don’t forget, LOCSU provides one free delegate place for each LOC.

  • Enter the National Optical Conference 2014 Poster CompetitionOpen

    Would you like to showcase the work of your LOC or Local Eye Health Network (LEHN)? Why not enter the first ever NOC poster competition, open to any LOC, LOC company or LEHN.

    Categories include: engagement strategy, service redesign initiative, collaborative working and public health. A 400-word abstract must be completed no later than 9 September 2014. All posters will be judged externally at the NOC and an overall winner selected. Visit the LOCSU website to download the full details including the abstract submission form

  • Role-based networking meetings planned for the NOCOpen

    Thank you to everyone who submitted their feedback to us about the proposed changes to the networking meetings at the National Optical Conference. The overwhelming response to moving the Friday morning meetings to be based on role was positive, however, everyone was keen to point out that the list of possible groups was too long and provided too much choice for members, most of whom have multiple roles within their LOC. We have therefore revised the list and will now offer the following meetings on the Friday morning (9.00am–9.50am): business managers and administrators, clinical governance and performance leads, commissioning leads/LEHN leads, independent prescribers, finance leads and treasurers, and new officers.

    Following your feedback we will ensure that each meeting is supported by one of our team, an agenda is produced ahead of the meeting and notes taken and a summary made available on the LOCSU website post NOC. For other informal networking opportunities there are the coffee and lunch breaks. If any regional groups would like to run a meeting over lunch on the Friday please contact

  • Primary Care initiative attracts national coverageOpen

    The new cross-sector paper, We Are Primary Care, launched on 17 July, has attracted significant national media coverage including The Independent (in print and online) and is backed up by a letter to The Times. The report, led by Pharmacy Voice, has contributions from the NHS Alliance, the Optical Confederation and the National Community Hearing Association. Read the full press release on the Optical Confederation website. Follow this link to read the full report.

    The paper urges the public and policy makers to look beyond general practice as the only alternative to hospital care. It argues that the political drive to address NHS pressures by taking care out of hospital and into the community can only be successful if people have a clear understanding that GPs are not always the most appropriate first contact.

  • LOCSU’s 2014–17 Strategic Plan and 2014­–15 Business PlanOpen

    Thank you to those LOCs that responded to our recent request for feedback on LOCSU’s draft 2014–17 strategic plan. The response from LOCs was overwhelmingly positive, and requests included more help with engaging contractors and practitioners, support for succession planning and training for LOCs to be able to determine whether an LOC company is delivering value. The 2014–17 strategic plan has now been revised to incorporate various suggestions from LOCs and will be launched early August 2014. At the same time as the launch of the new strategic plan we will share with LOCs our 12-month Business Plan for 2014-15. Watch this space…