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News from LOCSU

News posted: 28/01/2014

  • Appointment of new LOCSU Optical LeadOpen

    LOCSU is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Newall as an addition to the optical leads team following an advertised recruitment process. Chris, who is a director of a Specsavers Joint Venture in Bridport, has more than 20 years’ experience in optics and successfully completed the LOCSU Leadership in Optics course in 2013.

    Having been a member of Dorset LOC for eight years, Chris was elected as chair in 2012, and has been working to get eye health on the agenda of the new Clinical Commissioning Groups in his area during and following the reorganisation of the NHS. Chris, as a joint venture director, will also bring a valuable perspective of the corporate sector direct to LOCSU. The LOCs and LOC companies are representative of all types of community practice and with Chris’s appointment, LOCSU team of now six optical leads, will now reflect this spread.

    LOCSU’s optical leads work across England to support LOCs in negotiating and developing local eye health services. Any LOC that requires support from an optical lead should contact in the first instance.

  • New provider of LOC websites announcedOpen

    A new provider to host and support individual LOC websites has been appointed by LOCSU following a tendering process.

    Trillium Systems, which has provided technology-based business solutions for a number of organisations and professional bodies including the AOP, will be working over the next few months to develop new and improved websites. Following feedback from LOCs, the new sites will incorporate a wide array of new features, designed for intuitive use and with fresh new looks.  The new websites will be provided by LOCSU for use by LOCs, without charge.

    LOCs using the current LOC website hosting system provided by LOCSU via will be contacted within the forthcoming weeks to ascertain their needs and requirements, and establish a process for migration of their content to the new system.  LOCs not using the current website hosting system will have the option to use the new system, if they wish.

    The new ‘user-friendly’ platform will give LOCs the opportunity to develop modern professional websites, provide clearer information points for commissioners and other parties, while keeping their contractors and performers informed. The ‘go live’ date will be announced shortly.

    For more information, please contact

  • Commissioning RoundupOpen

    More and more LOCs are reporting that using the LOC company model is enabling them to successfully tender for community services. As of December 2013, 13 primary eyecare companies from across England had won bids for a variety of community eye health services, with the LOCSU optical leads supporting numerous other commissioning opportunities that are in the pipeline. Both the optical leads and LOCs are to be congratulated for their efforts.

  • HSJ RoundtableOpen

    LOCSU was represented at a recent roundtable discussion organised by commissioning magazine, Health Services Journal. Katrina Venerus, managing director of LOCSU, was invited to the event Improving Access to Cataract Surgery alongside leading clinicians, commissioners, managers, policy makers and campaigners from across the eye health sector.

    The debate explored issues including the current state of play, in terms of demand and variation, how the patient pathway can be optimised, and how can best practice be embedded into mainstream service commissioning and delivery.

    Full details of the discussion will be featured in HSJ at the end of February.

  • Presentation on Community Services to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Lay Advisory GroupOpen

    In recognition of LOCSU’s work to develop community eye services across England, Katrina Venerus was invited to present to the January meeting of the Lay Advisory Group of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. The group, whose meetings are attended by the president and chief executive of the Royal College, wanted to find out more about the LOCSU pathways and to hear our views on the potential for collaborative working at a local level. The feedback from the group was very positive in supporting the concept of moving some eye care services from secondary care into the community. The group’s chair acknowledged that the use of the additional resources available from optometrists should be most beneficial to patients and that clearly there is plenty to do to establish collaborative working in the community whilst at the same time retaining the viability of secondary care services.

  • Guide to LOC Companies for CCGsOpen

    A LOCSU guide for CCGs explaining the benefits of the LOC company model is under production and is due for completion by the end of January 2014. The guide will describe how the single provider model offers CCGs the opportunity to work with a network of optical practices in their community to give patients the best access to services and choice of provider, without the complexity of managing individual contracts.

    LOCSU is also working to ensure that CCGs are aware that they do not need to go through an Any Qualified Provider procurement process if their key objective is to engage as many optical practices as possible in delivering a particular community service; all practices are invited to participate as subcontractors to the local primary eyecare company, subject to meeting the accreditation requirements.

    LOCs will be sent a copy of the guide as soon as it is ready for circulation.

  • Training for LOC Company Clinical Governance and Performance LeadsOpen

    A new training module is currently being developed to support those tasked with managing the implementation and ongoing performance of services that LOC companies have been commissioned to deliver. The training will be specifically targeted at clinical governance and performance leads, but other key members of an LOC company management team or Board may also find it beneficial to complete the course.

    Developed by LOCSU’s learning and development consultant, Gill Brabner, with input from the LOCSU optical leads and others who have been working at the coal face as early implementers of the company model, the online training module will provide leads with an understanding of LOC company policies and procedures, how to interpret key performance indicators, and how to identify and manage outliers. The module will also focus on communication with subcontractors and external stakeholders.

    Register your Interest
    If you are a Clinical Governance and Performance Lead or hold a similar position in an LOC Company, and would like to register your interest in this free course which will be available from late February, please email

  • New Chair for Local Eye Health Network (LEHN) Steering GroupOpen

    Kate Kinsey, head of primary care operations in the Greater Manchester Area Team has taken over as chair of the LEHN Steering Group now that Jim Barlow from the Shropshire and Staffordshire Area Team, who we worked closely with during and post the NHS reorganisation, has retired. As well as the LEHN role, Kate will also provide support for the NHS England central team on eye health issues. We welcome Kate’s involvement going forward and wish Jim a much deserved enjoyable retirement.

  • LOCSU at 100% Optical and Optrafair London Open

    LOCSU will be represented at both 100% Optical and Optrafair London events over the next few weeks. As well as an opportunity to answer queries from LOC members, it is a chance for clinicians and practice owners from across England, that are represented by LOCs to raise any current issues with LOCSU. If you are attending either event, please visit the LOCSU stand with any questions or to simply give us your views. If you would like to book a specific time to speak to someone about commissioning or any other local issues, please email with details of when you are available.

  • NOC 2014 – hold the dateOpen

    Following the success of NOC 2013 – the major conference for the development of local community eye care services – LOCSU and the Optical Confederation are pleased to announce that NOC 2014 will be held on Thursday 23 and Friday 24October 2014 at the Hilton Metropole, NEC Birmingham.

    More details of the programme and booking information will be announced soon.

  • Devon LOC and roundtable event in WestminsterOpen

    Following on from their successful presentation on influencing MPs at last year’s NOC, Devon LOC joined forces with Devon Local Pharmaceutical Committee for a roundtable discussion with local MPs in early December, which was held in Westminster. MPs Oliver Colvile, Alison Seabeck and Ben Bradshaw discussed the management and treatment of minor health conditions in community optical practices and community pharmacy.

    Supported by the Public Affairs team from the Optical Confederation, Charles Bill, chair of Devon LOC commented: “It was great to see our local MPs get behind us and support opticians in Devon to provide high quality Eye Care across the county.”

    For more information or advice on working with local MPs, please contact Jenny Gowen at the Optical Confederation at

  • Domiciliary Eyecare CommitteeOpen

    The Optical Confederation’s Domiciliary Eyecare Committee is holding an open committee meeting in Central London on Friday 21 February 2014 at 10:30am. Everyone involved in the provision of domiciliary eye care is welcome to attend (subject to numbers).

    The meeting will be an opportunity to:

    • Raise any issues you have about the provision of domiciliary eye care
    • Meet the Committee and speak to them about their work
    • Meet fellow domiciliary providers

    You are welcome to send in proposals for items for the agenda whether you are attending or not.  For more details or to raise suggestions for agenda items please email by Friday 7 February 2014.

  • Leeds Ophthalmic Public Health Course – Sponsored Places AvailableOpen

    Running for its 6th year, this popular course at Leeds University offers a valuable opportunity for eye health and public health professionals, clinical directors, managers working in eye health, social care and public health to better understand the links between eye health and public health and epidemiology.

    The four day course runs from 28 April to 1May. The course fee is normally £650 and a number of sponsored places are available.

    For an application pack, please email The closing date for applications for sponsored places is 28 February 2014.