Staffordshire LOC COVID-19 Update 10th April 2020 at Staffordshire Local Optical Committee

Staffordshire LOC COVID-19 Update 10th April 2020

I am taking this opportunity to share the main developments over the last week.
  • There have been some clarification from NHS England regarding practice opening/ service provision and payments. In addition, professional organisations like OFNC have issued useful guidance. It is understood that any NHSE offer for average GOS fees payment is subject to practice providing same hours of service as pre-COVID (i.e. contracted hours).
  • One important action for ALL contractors to carry out if you have not already done so: You must let the NHS England local area team . know about your opening hours/ service status during COVID-19 phase, irrespective of whether these are same or different from your contracted hours.              Email:
  • For Extended Primary Eyecare services, you must let both LOC and PES know about your opening hours/ service provision. Email:
  • There are currently discussions ongoing between NHS England and Professional bodies regarding launch of new national Urgent Eye Care (UEC) Service. Details on specification and tariff will be shared when available. You will shortly be receiving a Primary Eye care Services (PES) update with a link for expressions of interest to provide this service.
  • NHSE have now included Optical profession as eligible for COVID-19 testing. Details on how to access were sent out on LOC email dated 7th April 2020. Let Alison at Office know if you have not received.
  • Optical profession are now recognised as key primary care providers requiring PPE. There has also been clarification of correct PPE requirements from Public Health England.
  • We have been in frequent contact with LOCSU, PES, CCG, NHSE regarding provision of PPE. As I type, there is nothing concrete in place but NHS England/ Improvement are now involved and trying to enable all optical practices to register on NHS supply chain website. On other hand, LOCSU are seeing if they can arrange a bulk supply to the LOC direct, which we can then distribute internally. So watch this space.
  • I am aware of that most of you have had to source PPE ourselves which may or may not be appropriate with respect to current guidance issued. None the less, please do read/watch the enclosed guidance on correct PPE usage. While the official NHS supply of PPE is arranged, each Contractor needs to make that choice on business operation. LOC is here to guide but cannot advise on business matters.
  • Please do ensure that during this COVID-19 period, your Infection Control Policy and Chaperone/Lone worker policy is up to date and applied.
As ever, I am enclosing the latest updates/ attachments below for your immediate information. Please do read and share with all staff. 
Finally, we do recognise that you are all doing a great job under difficult circumstances. In my previous updates, I have asked the profession to stand strong together as a network providing essential and urgent eye care in the community. I maintain this. However, your well being is the priority. If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact the LOC. Take care.
Irfan Razvi
Staffordshire Local Optical Committee

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