Community Eyecare at Staffordshire Local Optical Committee

Community Eyecare


Please click on the "Pathways Inserts" link to view the Staffordshire Enhanced Eyecare Pathways files (2012).


A map of Staffordshire optometry practices and community eyecare pathways can be accessed by clicking on this link.  The map has been developed by Staffordshire LOC for the benefit of patients, health commissioners, GPs, optometrists and dispensing opticians alike. 

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the map is as comprehensive as possible, accurately reflecting the community eyecare services currently available from each practice, it is almost inevitable with a project of this size that there may be one or two omissions.  If you should notice any, please contact Alison at the LOC office so that the map can be amended accordingly.


Stafford & Cannock GRR Service - July 2015

This is an update to the guidelines in reference to the forecoming GRR pathway due to be launched in Stafford and Cannock Chase CCG areas


Guidance for Accredited Optometrists

Guidance for Optometrists



Stafford & Cannock PEATS Service - July 2015

Please click on the link below to view the guidance document for the PEATS due to be launched in the Stafford and Cannock Chase CCG areas 


PEATS - Guidance for Participating Optometrists


PEATS - Participating Practices

Boots Opticians 01785 225948
Mincher Lockett01785 253478
Specsavers Opticians01785 255210
Webb, Lucas & Stubbs01785 242127
Vision Express01785 215077
Mincher Lockett01785 823790
Carolyn Parker01785 713861
Malcolm Gray & Associates01785 851015
Boots Opticians01543 503356
Chase Eyecare01543 570313
Chase Eyecare01543 422198
Colin Lee Opticians01889 570544
Specsavers Opticians01889 576060
Great Wyrley 
Kelcher Optometrists01922 412040
Optical & Hearing Centre01902 306925
Chase Terrace 
Stidwills Ltd01543 682730
Outside Stafford & Surrounds and Cannock Chase areas
Gillian Scarisbrick, Blythe Bridge01782 388355
Specsavers Opticians, Brownhills01543 363790
McCracken Opticians, Uttoxeter01889 562184
Optical & Hearing Centre, Shareshill01922 701897
Razvi Opticians, Meir01782 314673


Post Operative Cataract Service for Patients Seen at Rowley Hall Hospital

Guidance for Optometrists

Presentation from Launch Event


Staffordshire Community Eye Care Services:


The recent changes to the NHS have opened an unparalleled window of opportunity for Staffordshire optometrists to expand their clinical remit beyond the often mundane business of routine eye testing.  As optometrists, the skills and knowledge gained during our training and career development equip most of us to effectively triage, monitor or manage a great many eye abnormalities – whether it be flashes and floaters, red eye, dry eyes, sudden loss of vision, suspicious discs, raised pressures on NCT, ametropic infants… the list goes on.  In effect, it is optometrists rather than GPs who are the eye specialists in the primary care setting – and most GPs would agree.  Unfortunately, there has never been any additional remuneration under GOS in recognition of the extra time and skills required over and above the standard sight test for our clinical work.  The result is that we have had to do this work for free, charge a private fee or refer to secondary care via the patient’s GP.  All of these outcomes we know to be deeply unsatisfactory, but until relatively recently we have been powerless to change this. 

The previous chair and officers of Staffordshire LOC worked tirelessly over many years to facilitate the creation of opportunities within the NHS for suitably trained and accredited community optometrists (COSIs) to participate in enhanced eye care services such as diabetic retinopathy screening, acute eye, glaucoma co-management, post-operative cataract follow-up and paediatrics.  The success of the diabetic retinopathy screening programme in Staffordshire is well documented and has served as a benchmark for such services nationwide.  The other pathways are also blossoming, earning Staffordshire COSIs increased respect from ophthalmologists, GPs, health commissioners and patients alike.

These are exciting times for clinical optometry in Staffordshire.  Staffordshire LOC is leading from the front in helping to strengthen and refine existing community eye care pathways.  Our audits confirm that the care and management of patients seen under all of the enhanced services is safe, cost-effective and of a very high clinical standard.  Patients routinely return feedback expressing their huge satisfaction with the clinical and empathetic skills of the COSIs and the greater convenience of eye care services when they are delivered from accredited local high street opticians’ practices.  The LOC is in discussions with all 6 Staffordshire CCGs so that these pathways might be commissioned across the whole of the county. 

However, optometrist-led community eye care pathways can only be deemed truly successful once participating COSIs number the majority of Staffordshire optometrists.  It is only by enlarging our footprint on the new health map that the difference we make to patients’ lives and to the local health economy will really get noticed.  We want every clinically-minded optometrist in Staffordshire to become involved, whether from multiple or independent practice, so that our community eye care pathways grow to such a size that the NHS in Staffordshire simply can’t afford to be without them. 

So, our message to all non-accredited optometrists reading this is to get involved!  These pathways give you the opportunity to make the best use of the skills and knowledge you have gained during your training and career development in helping improve the eye health of people in your own localities.  In so doing, you can only enhance the clinical and professional profile of your practice and its importance to your community.  You will receive a much fairer financial recompense for your expertise and for your time than is currently the case under GOS.  And best of all, you’ll look forward to the excitement, variety and challenges that each new day brings. 

 A job worth getting out of bed for!

Staffordshire LOC chair and officers,

October 2013.

If you would like to become involved in community eye care services, or want to find out which services are commissioned or being planned in your area, please contact Staffordshire LOC secretary Alison Lowell.



There are three parts to the training and accreditation for the acute eye pathway in North Staffordshire and Stoke.  The first two parts are based on the course used to train optometrists who provide PEARS in Wales.   Part 1 must be completed before Part 2 can be started.  A foreign body removal training workshop is provided at the same time as the Part 2 assessment.   The final part of the training is attendance at two clinical sessions with a consultant ophthalmologist at UHNS emergency eye clinic. 

1)      PEARS Part 1: Distance Learning Lectures

Practitioners need to complete a course of theoretical training:

• Lectures and MCQs provided online

• 7 CET points in total

• An individualised certificate (in PDF format)

 Lectures include:

• The cornea and corneal foreign bodies

• Sudden loss of vision

• Red eye

• Flashes and floaters

• Dry eye

• AMD overview, signs and optometric investigation

• AMD current treatments and optometric management

2)      PEARS Part 2: Practical Station Assessments

WOPEC has previously worked together with Staffordshire LOC to organise practical assessments consisting of five 5 minute objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) stations, held under invigilated conditions.  These are designed to assess optometrists’ skill and knowledge in the areas of referral, communication, clinical decision making and interpretation of results.  These have previously been staged in ophthalmology outpatient departments or from larger opticians’ practices.

Examples of typical OSCE stations:

  • Station 1              Volk BIO

Practitioners are required to demonstrate their ability to do indirect ophthalmoscopy. A model eye will be mounted on a slit- lamp; within the model eye there are words which practitioners must transcribe correctly.

  • Station 2              Structured Viva

Practitioners are required to interpret a variety of clinical data- this may include pictures, results of clinical examinations, clinical signs, or a video of a history and symptoms.

  • Station 3              Patient interaction

An actor plays the part of the patient. Practitioners are observed interacting with the patient. They may be required to:

Explain a diagnosis, investigation or treatment 

  • Decide on appropriate management with a patient
  • Break bad news
  • Explain a diagnosis
  • Involve the patient in the decision-making 
  • Deal with an anxious patient
  • Give advice on lifestyle, health promotion or risk factors

 Station 4              Structured Viva

A repetition of station 2 above

 Station 5              Referral

Practitioners are required to interpret a variety of clinical data- this may include pictures, results of clinical examinations or clinical signs. Based on the data, they may be required to write a short report or a referral letter. Alternatively, they may be required to request an emergency referral. In this scenario the assessor acts as a casualty doctor on the other end of the phone.


For a list of practices participating in the Acute Scheme, please click here.



• All children are screened by orthoptist when in reception year
• Those with reduced vision in absence of squint or obvious pathology are referred to a COSI
• Patient then followed up by the orthoptist

COSI Procedure:

• Cycloplegic refraction, kid’s trial frame
• Media and fundus check: head set BIO (22 or 20D lens)


COSI Accreditation:

• Clinical session with orthoptist
• Clinical session with ophthalmologist