LOCSU has unveiled plans for a new national database to support the case for the universal commissioning of community eye services.
The Data Repository project, part funded by the Central (LOC) Fund, will demonstrate the cost effectiveness of community services and provide a compelling evidence base to NHS commissioners for the adoption of high-street services at scale.
Outlining details of the initiative LOCSU managing director, Katrina Venerus, said: “This will be a real game changer for community optics that could put paid to the fragmented, piecemeal approach by commissioners. While the current OptoManager IT platform collects data from individual services, it does not offer the global perspective and real-time, in-depth comparisons that will be provided by the new Data Repository.”
Venerus said that as well as demonstrating the benefit of commissioning community services, the new initiative will allow outcome comparisons across different services; by geography, age group and ethnicity. It will also be possible for other reference data to be fed into the repository, for example disease prevalence, to answer specific research questions.
“The anonymised national data will be extremely valuable to the whole sector. In addition to supporting the case for universal adoption of certain community services by CCGs and strengthening the argument for an extended role for optometrists and opticians in primary care, it will also become very useful from a public health and research perspective. We are delighted to have financial support from the Central (LOC) Fund to allow us to take this project forward and to make anonymised data accessible to relevant stakeholders and interested parties outwith LOCSU.”
LOCSU said Webstar Health and its parent company Cegedim Rx, who have proven expertise in this area, will utilise a tried-and-tested data integration and business analytics platform that will be integrated with the existing OptoManager system. A Data Repository Steering Group with experts from across the sector will be established to take the project forward when it is up and running later this year.