The recruitment of a new ophthalmology director with strategic expertise in health reform will benefit patients and the NHS, LOCSU Chief Operating Officer, Richard Whittington has claimed.
Christiane Shrimpton, has been appointed to a new role as Director of Ophthalmology with LOCSU.
Since 2014, Ms Shrimpton has led major service reforms as Ophthalmology Lead for the Better Care Together (BCT) Initiative which saw almost 6,000 appointments move from the hospital eye service to community optical practices in its first year.
The Better Care Together initiative was part of a series of national reforms stemming from the Five Year Forward View blueprint which introduced New Care Models. These identified 50 Vanguard sites across England to deliver services with the “triple aim” of better population health, better quality services, delivered at a lower cost. Morecambe Bay chose to pioneer reform of the ophthalmology service in which Ms Shrimpton was appointed as BCT Lead in the initial phase of this programme.
Announcing the appointment Richard Whittington said: “The reform of NHS delivery and the introduction of population-level, integrated care is a huge opportunity to reduce pressures on the hospital eye services by moving minor eye conditions and routine monitoring of stable conditions into primary care.
“The fact that Christiane brings both ophthalmology expertise and hands-on strategic skills in pathway redesign is a double coup for LOCSU and the optical sector. I welcome Christiane to the LOCSU team and the community sector. Adding her voice to the LOCSU team means that we can hone our message to commissioners that community optical practices can help streamline eye health services for the patient and make them more cost-effective for the NHS.”
Reacting to her appointment with LOCSU, Christiane Shrimpton said: “Eye health is vital and has a wider role to play in the health of the population.
“My current BCT lead role in ophthalmology has given me excellent experience as a system leader which I know will be of value to LOCs and Primary Eyecare Companies in developing a closer working relationship with ophthalmology departments and more integrated working.
“Having experience of a population-based approach to pathway redesign and working across organisational boundaries to make community eye services both cost-effective and more convenient for patients is at the heart of both health reform and improvement. I look forward to working with the community sector to ensure it is part of the solution to reducing hospital pressures.”
For more information, visit the Team Page on the LOCSU.