News

 

What's Happening Locally and Nationally

 

 

 

Casual Vacancy on Staffordshire Local Optical Committee
Following the resignation of one of its members, a casual vacancy has arisen on Staffordshire Local Optical Committee. The LOC is keen that this position should be filled by a local performer - i.e. an optometrist who is performing primary ophthalmic services in the Staffordshire area.
MECS Direct Electronic Routine Referrals to Cannock Chase Hospital
Whilst the quality and safety of South Staffordshire MECS is increasingly being remarked upon by GPs and commissioners, a number of local GPs have expressed some frustration that routine referrals from MECS are still being made through the GP in most instances, rather than directly to the Eye Department. Whilst this is largely a historical anomaly, one can sympathise with GPs when they grumble that they are performing little more than a clerical service, as they will rarely (if ever) deflect such referrals to the Eye Department if requested to make them by the optometrist.
Phasing out of Optician Practice Screening
By now, you should have all received a letter from Helen Jones, Staffordshire DESP Programme Manager, advising you of the gradual phasing out of diabetic eye screening from opticians' practices, to be replaced by NHS screening sites. Many of you have asked the LOC for its view on the matter.
PCSE Update
Now that most optical practices have completed and submitted their Quality in Optometry (QiO) GOS Contract Compliance checklists, the NHS England Area Team is meeting on 22 January to plan Post Payment Verification Visits (PPV) to Staffordshire practices
Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust Ophthalmology Outpatient Clinic
Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust Ophthalmology outpatient clinic, which runs out of County Hospital in Stafford, will be moving bases to Cannock Chase Hospital. This is due to University Hospital of North Midlands (UHNM) serving notice on the rooms that they operated out of.
NICE Glaucoma Guideline (NG81) – Key Points and Actions for Optical Professionals in Staffordshire
The revised “NICE Guideline Glaucoma: diagnosis and management” came into effect on 1 November 2017.
MECS/GRR OSCEs
Staffordshire LOC are running a further set of MECS and GRR OSCEs in July.
Staffordshire LOC AGM - Tuesday 13th June 2017
Staffordshire LOC's AGM and CET event will take place on Tuesday 13th June 2017
NHS Cataract Clinic Rowley Hall Hospital - Temporary Closure
Rowley Hall Hospital in Stafford have advised that in recent weeks they have had a huge increase in NHS cataract referrals from Opticians and GPs which has resulted in very limited clinic and theatre capacity.
Notice of Glaucoma Referral Refinement Scheme
As you may be aware, Primary Eyecare (Shropshire & Staffordshire) Ltd (SAS PEC) have been in talks with South East Staffs & Seisdon CCG regarding the commissioning of a Glaucoma Referral Refinement scheme. I am pleased to advise you that we have now received agreement for this service which SASPEC hopes will launch in May.
Notice of MECS Scheme in South Staffordshire
As you may be aware, Primary Eyecare (Shropshire & Staffordshire) Ltd (SAS PEC) have been in talks with the CCGs from Stafford & Surrounds, Cannock Chase and South East Staffs & Seisdon regarding the commissioning of a Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS), formally known as PEATS, and recommissioning the service in the case of Stafford & Surrounds and Cannock Chase. I am pleased advise you that we have now received agreement from all 3 CCGs for this service which SASPEC hopes will launch in April for those already on the scheme in Stafford & Surrounds and Cannock Chase practices, and May for practices in the South East Staffordshire & Seisdon areas
OSCEs - GRR & PEATS
Staffordshire LOC are holding both a GRR and MECS/PEARS OSCEs event on Monday 13th March. This event is for Optometrists practicing in the Staffordshire area, who would like to gain accreditation to either Glaucoma Referral Refinement or PEARS/MECS schemes (or both).

Continuing Community Services Under SASPEC Company Model
As you will be aware we have now had formal agreement from the North Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent CCGs, to re-commission the following pathways under the Company Model (SASPEC):
•Acute Eye Services
•Glaucoma Services
•Pre & Post Operative Cataract Services
•Paediatric Shared Care
Expressions of Interest for North Staffs & Stoke Eyecare Services Re-launch
Primary Eyecare Shropshire & Staffordshire Ltd (SASPEC) - the LOC Company, has been in discussions with North Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent CCGs with the aim of re-launching the current shared care pathways using the LOCSU company model.

We are pleased to confirm that the CCG have agreed our proposal to re-commission these pathways with a managed service provided by SASPEC. This means that SASPEC will deal with the running and management of the service and individual practices will sub-contract to SASPEC rather than the CCG.
Notice of PEARS/MECS and GRR OSCEs
Staffordshire LOC are holding both a GRR and MECS/PEARS OSCEs event on Monday 13th March. This event is for Optometrists practising in the Staffordshire area, who would like to gain accreditation to either Glaucoma Referral Refinement or PEARS/MECS schemes (or both).
LOC Office - Christmas Opening Hours
The LOC Office will close on Tuesday 20th December and will re-open on Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Queens Hospital Direct Cataract (DAC) Referrals - Faxed Referrals No Longer Accepted - Update
Queens hospital will now allow Direct Access Cataract referrals to be faxed to their Treatment Centre, if the practice does not have a NHS.net email address, however, it is their intention that should this machine stop working then it will not be replaced. With this in mind Staffordshire LOC would recommend that all practices who refer into Queens Hospital complete the IG Toolkit which can be reached via the following link https://www.igt.hscic.gov.uk/

The fax number to be used with immediate effect is 01283 536760
Notice of MECS & GRR OSCEs
Primary Eyecare (Shropshire & Staffordshire) Ltd (SAS PEC) will shortly be running 2 OSCE events
Medical Retina Teaching Evening - 8th November 2016
A Medical Retina Teaching Evening was held at North Staffs Medical Institute on Tuesday 8th November.

PCSE Optician Update October 2016
Please see below the recent update from Primary Care Support England
Medical Retina Teaching Evening
University Hospital of North Midlands have joined forces with the diabetic team to arrange a medical retina teaching evening on:

Tuesday 8th November at North Staffs Medical Institute.
6.00pm for a 6.30pm start. Food will be provided.
National Eye Health Week - 19th - 25th September 2016
National Eye Health Week is from 19th - 25th September 2016
North Staffs & Stoke on Trent CCG Office Move
As of 12th September 2016, North Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups will be located at the following address:

Smithfield 1 Building
Leonard Coates Way
Stoke on Trent
ST1 4FA

Brian Hillman -update
Staffordshire LOC are very sorry to hear of the passing of Brian Hillman a North Staffordshire optometrist who has recently passed away.

Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
CET Grant Forms
Please note that CET (Continuing Education and Training) Claim forms should be sent directly to Ophthalmic Payments via the email lasca.claims@nhs.net
Post Operative Cataract Pathway
SASPEC have been in talks with Stafford & Surrounds, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire and South East Staffordshire CCGs who have expressed a desire, subject to clarifying the final details, for a post operative cataract pathway in their areas.
PEATS/MECS & GRR OSCEs
Primary Eyecare (Shropshire & Staffordshire) Ltd (SAS PEC) will shortly be running a LOCSU MECS/PEARS Part B (OSCEs) and a GRR OSCEs assessment. The event will take place on Thursday, 14th July, at Prince & Bates Opticians, 193 Station Road, Burton on Trent, DE14 1BH with the first round of assessments taking place from 6pm.
Invitation to a CET event at Optegra Eye Hospital on 22nd July
Contemporary Advances in Cataract and Refractive surgery

Followed by an optional tour of the Optegra Eye hospital facilities
PEATS in the News!
Here is a link to a report in the Staffordshire Newsletter of outstanding and prompt eye care given to a patient by the Stafford and Cannock PEATS scheme.
PEATS/GRR CET Event - Monday 16th May
The presentations from the PEATS/GRR CET event which was held at the Stafford Postgraduate centre, on Monday 16th May are now available to view on the Professional page of the Staffordshire LOC website.
Staffordshire LOC AGM - Tuesday 14th June 2016
The Staffordshire LOC AGM will be held on Tuesday 14th June 2016 at Yarnfield Park Training & Conference Centre in Yarnfield, Stone, Staffordshire 6.30pm for 6.45pm start.


Stafford & Cannock PEATS and GRR CET Event - Monday 16th May
Staffordshire LOC has organised a PEATS (Primary Eye care Assessment & Treatment Service) and GRR (Glaucoma Referral Refinement) CET event for Monday 16 May, taking place in the Stafford Postgraduate Medical Centre. Although it is intended ostensibly for the benefit of optometrists actively participating in the Stafford & Cannock PEATS and GRR services, it will also be of relevance to any optometrists in South Staffordshire who are not yet accredited, but who might be interested in signing up to the services in the near future.
New NHS Voucher Values
To view the NHS general ophthalmic fees and optical voucher values for financial year 2016 to 2017, please use the following link:

http://www.networks.nhs.uk/networks/news/general-ophthalmic-service-fees-and-voucher-values-from-april-2016
New Cataract Referral Criteria for South Staffordshire
Staffordshire LOC has just been informed by the commissioning manager for East Staffordshire CCG that the criteria for Cataract procedures have changed, with effect from 1st April 2016
Diabetic Eye Screening Practices and Information Governance Compliance
You will no doubt recall the email sent from Staffordshire LOC to all diabetic eye screening practices on 8 March, which advised all diabetic eye screening practices not to complete the Information Governance (IG) Toolkit until further clarification had been received.
Diabetic Screening Practices and Information Governance Compliance
You will recall an email from Helen Jones sent to the Alert Centre on Optomize on 15 February, advising of the need for all optical practices participating in the Staffordshire diabetic eye screening programme to complete an Information Governance assessment, via the on-line IG Toolkit Version 13 (2015-16).
Possible Payment Identification Issues
The NHS payments service delivered by Primary Care Support England from Preston may start delivering payments without itemisation
Amendments to Stafford & Cannock PEATS and GRR Guidance for Accredited Optometrists
The following amendments to Stafford & Cannock PEATS and GRR Guidance have been agreed between the service commissioners and Primary Eyecare (Shropshire & Staffordshire) Ltd / SASPEC, following a services review meeting of 22 December 2015. You will also find a couple of reminders about existing guidance.
Information about referrals to University Hospitals of North Midlands **UPDATE**
It has come to light that University Hospitals of North Midlands has unilaterally changed its ‘referral in’ policy. This has resulted in a number of referrals not being accepted and ‘bounced back’ to the original referrer.
Referral into PEATS from 111
At a services review meeting with Stafford and Cannock CCGs on 22 December, an appraisal of the Primary Eyecare Assessment and Treatment Service (PEATS) demonstrated high levels of clinical excellence, cost savings and patient satisfaction. Hence, the CCGs are keen to increase the service’s activity, and it was agreed that Stafford and Cannock PEATS would accept referrals from the 111 service.
CET Grant Forms 2015
The 2015 CET grant forms are now available to download.
Oral Supplements for Macular Degeneration
Staffordshire LOC has been contacted by the South Staffordshire CCGs, with a request to circulate the following information to our fellow optometrists and dispensing opticians.
GRR Reminder to all Stafford and Cannock Optoms
On 20th July 2015, the Stafford & Cannock Glaucoma Referral Refinement (GRR) pathway was launched for community Optometry. The primary motivations behind this scheme are the NICE guidelines (2009) and subsequent need to keep false positive cases of raised IOP from reaching secondary care setting
LOC Office
Please note that the LOC Office will be closed from 2.45pm on Thursday 27th August 2015 until 8.15am on Tuesday 7th September 2015.
Direct Access Cataract Training
We are running another Direct Access Cataract training session on Monday 28th September 2015 at 6.30pm at Stafford Business Village in Stafford
North Staffs/Stoke Acute Pathway - Change to Accreditation Requirements
Following discussions with Stoke and North Staffordshire CCGs, SASPEC is pleased to announce that the requirements for training and accreditation to the North Staffs / Stoke Acute pathway (soon to be renamed North Staffs / Stoke Primary Eyecare Assessment & Treatment Service [PEATS]) have been made significantly more straightforward.
LOC Office
Please note that the LOC Office will be closed from 2.45pm on 16th July 2015 until 8.15am on 27th July 2015.
Ordering GOS Forms
As you will be aware Primary Care Support Services have now relocated.

There is a new process for ordering GOS forms.
Stafford and Cannock PEATS - Invitation to Border Practices
There may be a last minute opportunity for Staffordshire practices outside (but bordering) Stafford & Surrounds and Cannock Chase CCG areas to participate in the Stafford and Cannock Primary Eyecare Assessment & Treatment Service (PEATS), scheduled for launch on 1 July 2015.
Staffordshire LOC AGM - Tuesday 16th June
The Staffordshire LOC AGM will be held on Tuesday 16th June at the Stone House Hotel in Stone
Relocation of Primary Care Support Services
You will have received a leaflet from the West Midlands Primary Care Support Office.
Stafford & Cannock PEARS OSCEs
Primary Eyecare (Shropshire & Staffordshire) Ltd (SAS PEC) will be running a LOCSU MECS/PEARS Part B (OSCEs) assessment in Stafford on Sunday 7 June.
PEATS Clinical Triage
Primary Eyecare (Shropshire & Staffordshire) Ltd (SAS PEC) is seeking a team of experienced optometrists to provide clinical triage for referrals into the Stafford & Cannock Primary Eyecare Assessment & Treatment Service (PEATS)
GOS Claims
The LOC have been informed by the current financial services of NHS England that Staffordshire practitioners will soon have to submit their GOS claims ( ie. completed GOS1, GOS 3, etc forms ) directly to LASCA in Preston in order to claim the NHS fees.
Stafford and Cannock Primary Eyecare Assessment and Treatment (PEATS) Service
As many of you know, Primary Eyecare (Shropshire & Staffordshire) Ltd (SAS PEC) presented a bid for a Primary Eyecare Assessment and Treatment Service (PEATS) pilot on 13 January, in response to notice of a tender for the service by Stafford & Surrounds (SAS) and Cannock Chase (CC) CCGs. I’m pleased to advise you that SAS PEC has been confirmed as the preferred provider for the pilot, which is scheduled to run for 18 months, and which the company hopes to launch in the early summer.
Primary Eyecare (Shrops & Staffs Ltd): Finance Lead Required
Primary Eyecare (Shropshire & Staffordshire) Ltd (SAS PEC), having appointed a Board of Directors and Clinical Governance & Performance Leads for all Staffordshire community eyecare services, is now in a position to appoint a Finance Lead
Managing Non-Tolerance Issues
Report from the Optical Confederation on Managing Non-Tolerance Issues
Tender for the Renewal of a Contract for Supply and Fitting of Low Visual Aids and Contact Lenses
We have received an email from Stephen Boulton Contracts Manager working in the Supplies and Procurement Department for the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust giving the opportunity to tender for work for the supply and fitting of Low Visual Aids and Contact Lenses
Direct Access Cataract Training - 3rd March 2015
Staffordshire LOC is holding another Direct Access Cataract Training session.

National Performers List Website
You were emailed towards the end of last year regarding the closure of the National Performers List.
Glaucoma Referral Refinement Pathway Launch Evening
The launch meeting for the recommissioned and expanded Stafford & Surrounds and Cannock Chase Glaucoma Referral Refinement (GRR) pathway will take place on the evening of Thursday 5th February at 6pm at the Stafford Postgraduate Medical Centre.
LOC Office
The LOC Office will be closed from 2.45pm on Thursday 18th December until Monday 5th January.
Closure of National Performers List Website
We have been advised that the National Performers List website www.performer.england.nhs.uk will be closing on the 31st December 2014.
Glaucoma OSCEs and Taster Events
On 11th December 2014, WOPEC will be running a LOCSU Glaucoma OSCEs assessment for optometrists based in Stafford & Surrounds and Cannock Chase CCG areas at Specsavers Opticians in Stafford.
Increase in Direct Access Cataract Waiting Times at Rowley Hall Hospital
Staffordshire LOC has recently been contacted by Mel Savage, Head of Commissioning at Stafford & Surrounds (SAS) and Cannock Chase (CC) CCGs. Mel informs us that Rowley Hall hospital is currently struggling with the demand for cataract procedures, and she is concerned about the waiting times patients are now experiencing.
Talk on Keratoconus
Anupama Pherwani - Consultant Ophthalmologist at UHNS is giving a talk on Keratoconus on Wednesday 12th November 2014.
Community Eye Care Pathways for Stafford and Cannock
Staffordshire LOC is currently involved in discussions with Stafford and Cannock CCGs, and other local eye health stakeholders, about the commissioning of Glaucoma, Paediatrics and PEARS community eye care services.
Direct Access Cataract Training
Staffordshire LOC is holding a Direct Access Cataract Training session on 6th November 2014.
Staffordshire LOC Fax Number Change
Please note the Staffordshire LOC Office has a new fax number.
Fit For The Future Community Eye Care Pathways: New COSIs Required
The success of the North Staffs/Stoke Fit for the Future community pathways has been such that the increased level of activity requires further suitably trained and accredited community optometrists to sign up. Staffordshire LOC is looking for expressions of interest in the Acute (PEARS), Glaucoma Test B (OHT and suspect COAG co-management), Post-op Cataract and Paediatrics pathways.
Glaucoma Referral Refinement Expansion
The Staffordshire Primary Eye care Services Company is always looking to expand Glaucoma Referral Refinement (GRR) Test A and B providers in North Staffs and Stoke.
2014 CET grant claim forms - Claiming your funding
The increase in the CET grant has been agreed for 2013. The payment, which is payable in 2014 for CET undertaken in 2013, has risen by 2.5% to £529
Staffordshire LOC Office Move
Notification of the change of address for the Staffordshire LOC Office
Staffordshire LOC Annual General Meeting 2014
The Staffordshire Local Optical Committee held its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 10th June 2014 at the Stone House Hotel in Stone with over 60 optometrists and dispensing opticians attending
LOC Company and Clinical Leads
Staffordshire and Shropshire LOCs are working together towards the formation of an LOC Company. Clinical leads will be required for all community pathways. All applicants welcome!
Area Team's Conclusions Re: Assurance of GOS Contracts
Jeanette Sims has written to all GOS contractors with reference to their QiO self-assessment forms and action plans.
LOC Election
There are currently positions vacant on Staffordshire LOC for a dispensing optician, a community optometrist and a hospital optometrist.
Staffordshire Local Optical Committee AGM
The Staffordshire LOC AGM is being held on Tuesday 10th June 2014 at the Stone House Hotel in Stone
Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion Talk
A Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion talk is to be held on Wednesday 4th June 2014 at the North Staffs Medical Institute
Free NHSmail accounts for all optometrists/dispensing opticians in Staffordshire
The Eye Health LPN is initiating a programme to provide all optometrists/dispensing opticians with free NHSmail accounts in Shropshire and Staffordshire. Those of you who want an NHS mail account need to complete and return a form to Shelley Stubbs via the LOC office by Friday 6th June.
Staffordshire Enhanced Services Event
Staffordshire LOC held an Enhanced Services Event at the North Staffs Medical Institute in Hartshill on Tuesday 4th March where over 40 optometrists attended.
Staffordshire Direct Access Cataract Referral Training
Mark McCracken led a training event on Tuesday 25th February on behalf of Staffordshire LOC for optometrists who wished to be accredited to the Direct Access Cataract (DAC) referral pathways in North and South Staffordshire.