Richard Whittington has said that he is confident the sector can hit its 2018 Breakthrough target despite the recent slow-down in commissioning decisions. Outlining LOCSUs progress against its published Breakthrough Strategy – for the first time via his video blog – LOCSU’s chief operating officer insists that the introduction of Sustainable Transformation Plan (STPs) footprints is a welcome development for the optical sector.
Speaking through LOCSU’s varied media channels, Whittington said: “We have seen a significant increase from 30 per cent to 52 per cent of CCGs with a MEC Service and that is really encouraging. The formation of the STPs means CCGs are pooling resources but that has slowed down decision making and commissioning by individual CCGs. Nevertheless, establishing STPs fits our approach to deliver services at scale and I’m relatively confident that we will hit our target of 80 per cent of CCGs with or intending to commission MECS by next April if STPs deliver what they say they will.”
The chief officer explained that formation of STPs had major implications for Primary Eye Companies. He said that there would need to be fewer PECs consolidated around STPs footprints and that leadership, governance and finance functions must be able to deliver “a convincing story to commissioners” to secure primary care eye health services.
Commenting on the Breakthrough Strategy, LOCSU chairman, Alan Tinger, said: “No one said it was going to be easy when the LOCSU board and executive team agreed commissioning targets for 2016–2017. Whilst it is disappointing to have missed the MECS target it is certainly not through lack of effort. The changed NHS circumstances that were at the source of the recent slowing down provide the environment now to get back up to speed and through the current year target for an overall two-year success and more.”