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News from LOCSU

News posted: 02/12/2014

December 2014
  • NOC videos now onlineOpen

    Following last month’s highly-successful National Optical Conference, videos of the keynote speeches from the event are now available to watch for LOC members who were unable to attend.

    The Call to Action emerging themes (keynote speech by NHS Strategy Lead, Taryn Harding)

    Learning from the Calls to Action for General Practice, Pharmacy and Dentistry

    The Enablers for the Call to Action

    NOC 2014 Review

  • LOCSU launches Board RecruitmentOpen

    LOCSU is looking to recruit two new Board members to represent LOCs in the north of England and south of England regions, to replace the current representatives whose term of office is coming to an end.

    LOCs in the north and south of England regions are invited to nominate candidates for the positions and LOC Officers across both regions have been sent details of the recruitment process direct.

    Applications close on Monday 12 January 2015. For further details click here.

  • LOCSU MD appointed Vice Chair of NHS England Stakeholder GroupOpen

    NHS England have announced that Katrina Venerus, LOCSU’s Managing Director, has been appointed as Vice Chair of the Primary Care Support (PCS) Stakeholder Group established to provide customer input into the transformation programme. Dr Ian Hume from the British Medical Association (BMA) has been elected Chair of this Group. Both bring a wealth of primary care experience as well as an understanding of the complexities around a negotiated public procurement.

    Katrina said: “As a group, we welcome the opportunity to participate in the PCS transformation programme. These services touch many aspects of our professional lives and so it is right that we now have a Stakeholder Group representing all the relevant professions. We have a tremendous opportunity to influence decisions as plans are developed. Peter Hampson and Paul Morris represent the Optical Confederation on the group so we are fortunate to have a broad range of expertise from our sector.”

  • LOC website migration beginsOpen

    Content migration is underway for LOCs that have previously confirmed they wish to move from the historic Cast website platform to the new and improved platform. A separate communication will be sent shortly illustrating the design and features of the new system. All LOCs have the opportunity to use the new system if they wish. It is intended that initial test websites will be sent to the first group of LOCs this month, to go live following individual LOC confirmation. Online training will be provided on the new content management system underpinning the new websites. There is no cost to LOCs for using these new website templates.

  • Online Training Module for LOC Treasurers goes liveOpen

    We are delighted to announce that our online training module for LOC Treasurers is now live and can be accessed via the Members’ Area of the website. Treasurers attending the recent NOC voiced their appreciation of the creation of a resource to support new and experienced Treasurers in their role. The module consists of three short videos (slides with audio commentary) and an Excel workbook which includes best-practice examples and a couple of ‘how not to do it’ spreadsheets. There is also a short user guide detailing the contents of each video and Excel workbook.

    As always, we welcome your feedback so please get in touch to let us know how you get on with the module. We also provide one-to-one support for Treasurers. For further details please contact us at

  • Devon LOC promotes eye health on Hiblio TVOpen

    As part of their continuing efforts to promote eye health regionally, trailblazers at Devon LOC has participated in a live conversation on Hiblio TV. Hiblio LIVE is a brand new subscription-free TV service from South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The conversation was broadcast live on Thursday 27 November 2014 at 2.30pm and can be accessed through

    The service offers viewers credible information about health, wellbeing and lifestyle. People can watch conversations live in real-time via the web. Clinical professionals, patients, carers, established charities and public bodies appear on the studio sofa to share their knowledge, expertise and experience with Torbay residents and beyond.

    The channel also tweets daily health tips or news about upcoming broadcasts, you can follow them on Twitter – @hiblio or visit their website. For more information about the initiative, contact Jonathan Drew, Devon LOC Business Manager,

  • Dudley practices to deliver pioneering healthy living schemeOpen

    Dudley Local Optical Committee (LOC) has joined forces with Public Health Dudley to develop the first Health Living Optician concept in England.

    The pioneering project will see optical practices across Dudley provide NHS health checks, smoking cessation advice and health promotion. The innovative scheme for optics builds on Dudley’s successful Healthy Living Pharmacy initiative, which provides a portfolio of valuable public health services under one ‘brand’ together with a robust accreditation process.

    The pilot is the brainchild of Dudley LOC Chair, Shamina Asif, who “began knocking on the door of the Public Health team four years ago” to discuss a smoking cessation scheme. Katrina Venerus praised her tenacity and said that LOCSU would be looking to persuade other public health teams with the Dudley model.

    At the launch event this month, Michelle Dyoss, Public Health Practitioner (Pharmacy) said: “We are delighted to have been able to work with the LOC on the Healthy Living Optician scheme. The Healthy Living Pharmacy scheme extends beyond the ‘traditional’ pharmacy services to focus on a spectrum of needs relating to healthy living and lifestyles, through direct provision of advice and interventions and sign-posting to other services. It is great that the people of Dudley will now be able to access many of the same services at a local optical practice.”

    Shamina Asif, Dudley LOC Chair, said: “It is exciting times for Dudley LOC. We are very grateful to our colleagues in the Public Health Dudley team for developing the Healthy Living Optician scheme which is the first of its kind in England and to LOCSU for their support.

    “For the population of Dudley, the Healthy Living Optician scheme will provide a valuable resource for communities and will make a tangible contribution to improvement in health and wellbeing.”

    Training, funded by Public Health Dudley, will be provided in early 2015 and the LOC expects to have the first Healthy Living Optician and the promotional campaign for the scheme up and running by March 2015.

  • MP visits BEH LOC practiceOpen

    Local MP for Edmonton, Andy Love, visited M. D. Cooper Opticians on Friday 24 October to find out why regular eye tests are so important in preventing blindness. The visit was arranged between the MP and Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Local Optical Committee (BEH LOC), with support from the Optical Confederation’s Public Affairs Team.

  • Sutton Disability Pathway launchedOpen

    Local MP, Tom Brake, helped Merton Sutton and Wandsworth LOC launch their Community Eye Care Pathway for Adults and Young People with Learning Disabilities recently. Mr Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, joined LOC Chair, Eyall Gelbart, at Wallington Opticians in Wallington for the launch of the service in the Sutton CCG area.

  • LEHN event explores commissioning for collaboration and outcomesOpen

    The important role that regular sight tests play in the prevention of avoidable sight loss and the need for the best possible support services when people do go blind were among the key conclusions at a regional sight loss event in the Midlands last month. There was also support for community eye services from a local CCG Chair.

    On 6 November, Beacon Centre for the Blind near Wolverhampton, in association with the NHS England Local Eye Health Network, hosted its second annual conference, the theme of which was “The eye health Tsunami” covering key actions to improve the patient experience and outcomes.

    Speakers included Claire Roberts, Chair of Local Eye Health Network, NHS England, Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country Area Team and Katrina Venerus, Managing Director of LOCSU.

    Delegates heard about the challenges the Midlands region faces in terms of massive increases in demand for sight loss services, and how NHS commissioners, local providers and community optometry need to work innovatively and collaboratively.

    Dr Dan DeRosa, Chair of Wolverhampton CCG, explained his CGG’s strategy to meet the rising demand for eye services, which included the recent roll out of new community services based in optical practices. Dr DeRosa delighted the LOC members in the audience when he proposed that it was common sense to make better utilisation of optometrists and opticians to support GPs in primary care. Afternoon workshops explored in more detail how a joined-up approach to issues like dementia and sight loss could improve the quality of local services by increasing take up of regular sight tests and ensuring that appropriate support was available in the right place at the right time.

    The event feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with delegates praising the quality of speakers and the opportunity for a multi-disciplinary group to discuss collaborative, patient-centred models of care.

    Speaking to LOCSU News, Claire Roberts, Chair of Local Eye Health Network, NHS England, Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country Area Team, said: “This was a great opportunity for the LEHN to work with a local sight loss charity to bring together speakers and participants from a wide range of backgrounds within the vision and sight loss sector. The event gave us opportunity to further develop local relationships and learn from each other how to play our part in adopting a holistic, person-centred approach in pursuit of better patient outcomes.”

  • Ophthalmic Public Health Committee looks to establish joint social care groupOpen

    The VISION 2020 (UK) Ltd Ophthalmic Public Health Committee (OPHC) meeting in November showed the continued commitment and progressive work going forward by the group. The focus of the meeting was to look at the key public health indicators and trying to maximise the relationship between them and eye care. Discussions centred around ideas of local eye health promotion work that could be rolled out nationally. Data gathering and particular data set types to look for were discussed, including uptake of eye test amongst certain target populations.

    The OPHC is investigating the establishment of a multi-disciplinary group from the eye health and social care sector to working together to deliver the UK Vision Strategy.

  • Eye health awareness work highlighted at National Dementia CongressOpen

    LOCSU is delighted to report that “Raising Awareness of Dementia and Sight Loss in Shropshire and Telford” was the subject of a parallel session at a recent National Dementia Congress in Brighton. Claire Roberts, Clinical Advisor to Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Wendy Southall, Commissioning Lead for Long Term Conditions and Ophthalmology at Shropshire CCG, presented the work they had undertaken earlier in the year in Shropshire and Telford with a range of healthcare professionals. Claire is also known to many as Local Eye Health Network Chair for Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country and has a particular interest in public health.

    The project, funded by an Ophthalmic Public Health grant from RNIB, involved a series of awareness-raising sessions amongst a range of professionals including optometrists and opticians, colleagues working with people living with dementia and colleagues working in the low vision sector. As part of the work a leaflet about dementia and sight loss was developed and distributed across the county. For more information contact

  • Fight for Sight research ‘roadshows’ available to LOCsOpen

    Fight for Sight is making its research presentation roadshow available for LOCs. The presentations aimed both optometrists and dispensing opticians, and are CET certified. For more details about how to book a Fight for Sight Speaker for your LOC please email Julian Jackson or call 07773 800073.

  • Glaucoma charity launches awareness driveOpen

    The International Glaucoma Association is having a publicity drive aimed at optical practices. The charity’s website ( has a wealth of free resources, including free leaflets and posters promoting the patient Sightline (01233 648170) and patient email at Posters and leaflets available to optical practices on the shop pages of the IGA website.