Staffordshire Enhanced Services Event - 10/02/2014 at Staffordshire Local Optical Committee

Staffordshire Enhanced Services Event - 10/02/2014

Staffordshire LOC held an Enhanced Services Event at the North Staffs Medical Institute in Hartshill on Tuesday 4th March where over 40 optometrists attended.

Irfan Razvi – Vice Chair for the North kicked off proceedings with some background information relating to all the enhanced services. We learned of the current number of optoms accredited in each of the different pathways along with the level of activity and the significant reductions in HES ophthalmology appointments with the significant savings in term of money which has been made.

Stewart Townsend – LOC Chair took over the reins to advise of the changes which will be taking place In North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent.

What are the changes?

He advised that the LOC, as a statutory body, cannot hold commercial contracts and has historically bid for work on behalf of a unified profession in Staffordshire.  If a LOC Company is set up then they can simplify the bidding for contracts by doing all the admin and contract maintenance on behalf of any number of practitioners and also simplify the accreditation process and allow new practitioners to join schemes more easily.

What has been done?

They have met with the CCG who assured them that they intend to recommission all the services and through the company model using the new standard NHS contract, therefore Shropshire and Staffordshire Eyecare services has been set up with 3 directors from each LOC.  As a company they are looking towards a unified set of pathways across Staffordshire, simplifying the contracting and accreditation process and giving the chance for any practitioner to become involved (subject to terms and conditions)

What is happening in the South?

The 4 South Staffs CCGs are all looking at future ophthalmology provision and looking to model along similar line to North Staffs pathways, however it may not go into the company model

What are the next steps?

Work is going on to ensure that all new arrangements are in place as soon as possible after 1st April.

Copies of the presentations used on the night can be accessed by clicking here for the presentation made by Irfan Razvi and here for the presentation by Stewart Townsend.

If you have any queries or want to know about getting involved with any of the enhanced services please inform Alison by email or by telephone 01785 851497

AQP and it's relevance to Staffordshire Optometry (Sept 2013)


  • From 1st April 2013 PCTs have been replaced by Clinical Commissioning Groups (“CCGs”) and an online commissioning process has been introduced known as Any Qualified Provider (“AQP”).
  •  Whilst not mandatory, it is likely that most CCGs will not want to deal with individual contractors but rather with a single contractor and who can also manage the service including payments and the collection of data.
  •  Over the past 20 years, Staffordshire LOC has been responsible for dealing with PCT/CCG’s to establish service specifications and negotiate tariffs.
  •  The LOC has now unanimously decided to form a separate LOC company. This is a virtual company based on the LOCSU model, which will provide a solid base to deal with CCG’s. With the help of improved IT package/software, we will provide more effective data sharing and audit of services. All of which will empower the LOC company to further evolve community services specifications and negotiate proper tariffs with the CCG’s, on behalf of all the contractors/optometrists involved.
  •  The eventual aim is to achieve AQP status with the relevant Staffordshire CCG, to formally provide community services. We see this as a vital element for community optometry evolution. The bid to attain AQP status is only just beginning, so watch this space!
  •  There has never been a better time to get involved in community services, so all optometrists are encouraged to be part of these exciting changes.


Irfan Razvi

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