Diabetic Eye Screening Practices and Information Governance Compliance at Staffordshire Local Optical Committee

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.  Since then, the LOC office has received an email from Jess Pembroke, Security & Governance Manager for the Information Governance Team, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust (SSOTP).  She re-iterated the Partnership Trust’s position that the IG Toolkit is a national requirement of any organisation that has access to patient information, and is a contractual requirement for all optical practices participating in the diabetic eye screening service.  

The LOC has tried to resist this imposition.  It has liaised with LOCSU, AOP, and other advisory bodies.  It has expressed its concern to Staffordshire DESP about not only the onerous and disproportionate amount of work that will be required, with the associated risk that some practices may drop out of the service – but also the fact that such a major change has been introduced to practices’ SLA’s unilaterally (with no negotiation), and without any financial support.  However, since SSOTP’s position remains unchanged, it appears that if you want to maintain your diabetic eye screening contract, then you will have to complete the IG toolkit by no later than 31 July.

To make it easier for screening practices to comply with the requirements, there are a number of helpful links on the Quality in Optometry (QiO) website, which will be added to the LOC website, and have been reproduced below for your convenience:

·         IGT Sample Policy

·         Introduction to NHS Information Governance Requirements for Optical practices

·         IG information leaflet

·         IG training booklet

Also on the QiO website, further helpful guidance can be found by clicking on the “Audit” tab on the top of the screen.  You will then be given the options of completing a Record keeping audit, an infection control audit and an Information Governance audit.  Fill in these forms, and you should find that the answers match exactly with the requirements for the IG Toolkit – you just need to cut and paste them in.

If for some reason a practice finds that it does not meet the requirements for the IG audit, then as long as they are AOP members, they can call the AOP, ask to speak to the business support team, and they will be sent all the paper work and training required as proformas.  The practice will just need to cut and paste its details onto each form.

Thank you for your patience and your understanding.

 

Regards,

Staffordshire LOC Chair and Officers