Notice of MECS Scheme in South Staffordshire - 17/03/2017 at Staffordshire Local Optical Committee

Notice of MECS Scheme in South Staffordshire - 17/03/2017

To: All Optical Contractors and Performers in Stafford & Surrounds, Cannock Chase & South East Staffs & Seisdon CCG areas

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. Following keen negotiations with the CCG, due to their budget deficit they were looking to reduce the tariff for MECS, we eventually managed to persuade them to bring it back up to the existing figure of £47 per episode to contracting practices. SASPEC views this as something of a victory considering that tariffs for similar primary healthcare services e.g. pharmacy have actually gone down in value.

In common with MECS-type schemes elsewhere, the MECS service will provide appropriate triaging of both acute and non-acute referrals by trained and accredited community optometrists based in convenient high street practice locations.  In addition, it is anticipated that the services will enable the treatment of minor eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis and dry eye, together with minor procedures such as corneal and subtarsal foreign body removal and eyelash epilation,

All optometrists practising in these area are warmly invited to take part in the scheme. In order to participate, if you have not done so already, you will be required to complete the WOPEC PEARS Part A (distance learning exercises) and Part B (OSCEs/Practical Assessment) training and accreditation.   In addition, you will be required to complete the DOCET level 2 Safeguarding Adults and Children’s certificates.  Finally all practices will be required to complete Quality in Optometry (Qi0) and NHS Standard Contract Checklist.  SASPEC has been advised by LOCSU that contracting practices who have already completed the checklists will be required to complete the new QI0 checklist, but much of the new checklist will simply require you to replicate the work completed in your previous checklist submissions.

If you would like to participate in the scheme and have not already taken the MECS training please contact Alison Lowell on 01785 887937 who will be able to provide you with a code to access the WOPEC training.

We are now inviting expressions of interest from practices who wish to become part of this exciting opportunity, along with confirmation from practices who are already taking part in the service that you wish to continue participating in MECS.  Could you please provide this to Alison Lowell at by no later than Wednesday 22nd March 2017.

Thank you for your interest and support.



Mark McCracken

Clinical Governance and Performance Lead (PEATS/Acute) - Primary Eyecare (Shropshire & Staffordshire) Ltd

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