1. In the following scheme unless the context otherwise requires “the Committee” means the Local Optical Committee formed for the purposes connected with the National Health Service Acts.
2. The Committee shall be known as the Staffordshire Local Optical Committee.
3.1 To advise the NHS England Staffordshire & Shropshire Area Team and Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups on matters affecting optometrists and dispensing opticians undertaking general ophthalmic services in the area.
3.2 To enable optometrists and dispensing opticians undertaking general ophthalmic services in the area to formulate collective views on the administration of the services and in particular to make suggestions for their improvement and to transmit them to the NHS England Staffordshire & Shropshire Area Team and Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
3.3 To disseminate information about the general ophthalmic services among optometrists and dispensing opticians in the area to assist individual optometrists and dispensing opticians to understand and comply with their terms of service.
3.4 To consider any complaint made to them by any optometrist against any other optometrist practising in the area for which the committee is constituted involving any question of the efficiency of the general ophthalmic services.
3.5 To advise the NHS England Staffordshire & Shropshire Area Team and Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups on matters affecting optometrists and dispensing opticians in relation to the hospital eye services, the scope and efficiency of those services, and in connection with the provision of ophthalmic services from Health Centres, Clinics and the like.
3.6 To carry out such other advisory or consultative functions as may be incidental to or assist in the attainment of the above objectives, including liaison with patient representative groups within the area.
4.1 (a) The Committee shall consist of a maximum of 18 optometrists, all of whom shall be in practice in the area and whose names are on the local ophthalmic list. The membership must include at least one optometrist practicing in each PCT area.
(b) The optometrists to be elected under 4 (1) (a) shall be elected by and from the optometrists practising in the area and whose names are on the local ophthalmic list.
(c) In addition, the Committee shall include where possible, one optometrist elected by and from optometrists employed as such by the NHS Trusts situated in the territory of the Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
4.2 (a) The Committee shall also include a maximum of 4 dispensing opticians including a representative of ABDO.
(b) The dispensing opticians to be elected under 4 (2) (a) shall be elected by and from the dispensing opticians practising and registered within the area covered by the Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
4.3 Whereby the normal process of election representation to reflect corporate practices has not been made, a place shall be specifically reserved for a representative of FODO.
4.4 Provided that the Committee so elected shall have power to co-opt one or more optometrists or dispensing opticians, who shall not have any voting rights.
Term of Office
5. The term of office of members shall be 4 years, (half the members to be elected initially for a period of 2 years) provided that at the expiration of this term of office a member shall be eligible for re-election.
Vacancies etc. not to invalidate proceedings
6. The proceedings of the Committee shall not be invalidated by a vacancy in their membership, or by any defect in the appointment of any member of the Committee.
Proceedings of the Committee
7.1 The Committee shall hold meetings at least twice per year, at such time and place as shall generally be agreed.
7.2 The Committee shall create such sub-committees as it deems necessary to deal with implementation of strategy as identified by the main Committee.
Officers of the Committee
8.1 The Committee shall elect a Chairman, 3 Vice Chairmen, a Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and a Secretary from among their number, all of them normally hold office for one year, provided that the officers of the Committee shall be eligible for re-election.
8.2 The Committee shall elect one optometrist from each Clinical Commissioning Group locality to represent the profession to that locality. The Committee shall nominate one deputy per locality (not necessarily practicing in that locality or necessarily a member of the Committee).
8.3 Alternatively the Committee may appoint a lay Secretary.
9. One third of the number of members of the Committee, or if one third is not a whole number, the next number above one third shall form a quorum of the Committee. Provided that where the full Committee numbers five or less than five members, the quorum shall be not less than 2 members entitled to vote.
Disqualification or Resignation of Members
10.1 A duly elected optometrist or dispensing optician who is no longer practicing in the area, or has ceased to be employed by an NHS Trust in the area shall vacate his/her seat on the Committee and a casual vacancy shall be deemed to have occurred.
10.2 Where a member of the Committee has been absent from 3 consecutive meetings of the Committee to which he/she has been summoned, the Committee may, unless they are satisfied that his/her absence was due to illness or other reasonable cause, declare that his/her seat on that Committee has been vacated, and thereupon a casual vacancy shall be deemed to have occurred.
10.3 A member of the Committee may at any time, by notice in writing signed by him/her and delivered to the Secretary, resign his/her office.
Method of filling casual vacancies
11.1 Where by reason of the resignation, death or disqualification of a member of the Committee, a casual vacancy in the membership of the Committee occurs, the Committee may appoint an optometrist or dispensing optician on the local ophthalmic list and practising in the area of the Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups or as appropriate, an optometrist or dispensing optician employed as such by NHS Trusts whose premises are situated in the territory of the Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
11.2 The person so appointed shall hold office for the remainder of the term of office of the member in whose place he/she is appointed.
11.3 The Secretary shall maintain a list of all changes to the Committee structure.
12. The Committee shall be empowered to make such financial arrangements either by compulsory levy, as provided for in section 45 (2) and (3) and Schedule 6 (para. 5) of the NHS Act, 1977, and/or by voluntary levy, to cover the working expenses of the Committee as shall be generally agreed by the optometrists on the ophthalmic list and practising in the area. Provided that the Committee shall be empowered to raise funds by voluntary levy for such other purposes as the Committee may approve. The financial year should coincide with the tax year.
Records and accounts
13. Minutes shall be kept of each meeting of the Committee as well as an account of the income and expenditure, such account to be examined annually by two persons, not being members of the Committee, appointed by the Committee. These shall either be optometrists or other persons of relevant experience.
Notice of meetings
14. At least 14 days notice shall be given before each Committee meeting. In the case of the Annual Meeting, at least 21 days notice shall be given.
15. On 30th June each year, or the next nearest prior convenient day, a meeting shall be held at which all optometrists and dispensing opticians on the ophthalmic list and practising in the area of the Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups shall be invited to attend.
The busness of the meeting shall include:
(i) a report of the year’s working and the presentation of the examined accounts;
(ii) the election of the examiners;
(iii) (every 2nd year), the election of half the members of the Committee.
Variation of Constitution
16. The Committee may, where changes in the National Health Service Regulations or where local circumstances require, vary the constitution. Proposed variations shall first be circulated to all optometrists and dispensing opticians whose names are included in the ophthalmic list for the area and then submitted to the Annual Meeting of the optometrists and dispensing opticians practising in the area and if adopted, shall be notified to the NHS England Staffordshire & Shropshire Area Team and Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups. The Strategic Health Authority and Primary Care Trusts will then inform the LOC concerned whether the proposed variation would be consistent with continued recognition by the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) under the National Health Service Act 2006 sction125(1).
PROCEDURE FOR THE ELECTION OF OPTOMETRISTS AND DISPENSING OPTICIANS TO THE LOCAL OPTOMETRIC COMMITTEE
Method of election of optometrists and dispensing opticians
- Every optometrist and dispensing optician whose name is on the ophthalmic list and who is practising in the area of the Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (in this scheme referred to as an “elector”) shall be entitled to be present and to vote at a meeting convened for the purpose of electing optometrists and dispensing opticians to the Committee. At least 21 days before the date on which the meeting is to be held, the Secretary or Returning Officer shall send to all optometrists and dispensing opticians on the ophthalmic list and practising in the area, a written notice setting forth the date, time, place and purpose of the meeting.
2. (I) The Returning Officer shall be appointed by the Local Optometric Committee. In the event of the person appointed as Returning Officer being unable to act, he shall appoint some person, other than an elector, to act as deputy in his place.
(II) The Returning Officer shall be reimbursed all expenses properly incurred by him in the conduct of the election.
3. The electors present at the meeting shall appoint a Chairman to preside at the meeting and two scrutineers to assist the Returning Officer in counting the votes.
4. Any optometrist or dispensing optician whose name is on the ophthalmic list and is in practice in the area of the Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups may be a candidate for election to the Committee.
5. Every candidate shall be nominated by at least two electors either personally at the meeting, or by written communication delivered to the Returning Officer at least 48 hours before the meeting. The Returning Officer shall not accept any nomination unless the candidate has intimated before the time of voting that, if elected, he/she is prepared to accept office.
6. If the number of candidates does not exceed the number of vacancies to be filled, the Returning Officer shall declare those candidates to be elected; if the number of candidates exceeds the number of vacancies, a vote shall be taken in the manner hereinafter provided for the purpose of filling those vacancies.
7. Each elector shall be entitled to cast a number of votes equal to the number of vacancies in respect of which the vote is taken, but he/she may not cast more than one vote for any one candidate.
8. Voting shall be in accordance with the following rules:
(I) The Returning Officer or his deputy shall prepare a list of duly nominated candidates showing the names of the electors by whom each candidate has been nominated.
(II) The Chairman shall in such manner as he thinks fit, inform the meeting of the names of the candidates and the number of vacancies.
(III) Each elector shall indicate on a voting paper the names of those candidates for whom he desires to record his vote and shall sign his name at the foot thereof.
(IV) A voting paper shall be invalid if:
(a) it contains the names of more candidates than there are vacancies to be filled
(b) it is not signed in accordance with these rules
(c) in any other respect it does not comply with these rules or is marked in such a manner as to cause any uncertainty as to the candidate for whom the elector desires to record his vote, provided that the Returning Officer shall, if he thinks fit, treat a voting paper so marked as valid for the purpose of any vote other than that in connection with which the uncertainty arises.
9. The Returning Officer shall examine the voting papers and, after rejecting any that are invalid, shall count the votes recorded on the remaining papers and shall prepare a list of the candidates according to the number of votes which each has received, the person receiving the greatest number of votes being placed highest on the list.
10. Provided that the Chairman may on a resolution duly proposed, seconded and passed by the meeting prior to voting, declare that voting shall be by a show of hands for each candidate separately. Paragraphs (8) and (9) shall then operate only insofar as they can be made applicable.
11. If the votes received by any two or more candidates are equal and the addition of a vote to any one of such candidates would enable that candidate to be declared elected, the Chairman shall take a vote of the meeting, whether a show of hands, or in writing, as he thinks fit, to decide which of the candidates shall be placed highest on the list; or if the meeting has been declared at an end before the count is completed, the Returning Officer shall decide by lot which of the candidates shall be placed highest on the list.
12. The Returning Officer shall declare elected such number of optometrists and dispensing opticians highest on the list as will fill the vacancies to be filled at the election.
13. Where the number of persons elected is less than there are vacancies to be filled, the Committee may appoint one or more optometrists and/or dispensing opticians to fill the vacancy or vacancies, and the person or persons so appointed shall be deemed to be elected members.
14. (I) Where a Deputy Returning Officer has acted at a meeting, he shall forthwith give notice in writing of the result of the election to the Returning Officer
14. (II) The Returning Officer shall forthwith give notice in writing of the result of the election to each of the persons elected.
15. Where any document is, under these Rules, required to be sent to an optometrist or dispensing optician, it shall be deemed to have been duly sent if it has been delivered or posted to the address of the optometrist or dispensing optician in the ophthalmic list.
16. Any question as to the validity of any nomination, ballot paper, or otherwise, in connection with any election shall be determined by the Returning Officer.
METHOD OF ELECTION OF OPTOMETRISTS AND DISPENSING OPTICIANS EMPLOYED BY NHS TRUSTS
17. The secretary of the Local Optical Committee shall write to all, optometrists and dispensing opticians employed by NHS Trusts within the area of the Committee inviting nominations, from among their number, to serve on the Committee.
18. In the event of more than one optometrist or dispensing optician being nominated, a simple ballot shall be held among the hospital optometrists and dispensing opticians to elect one optometrist or dispensing optician.
19. The Chair/Secretary should satisfy him/herself that there shall be appropriate representation to fulfil the requirement for PCT leads.