The Team

Local Optical Committees are supported by the Local Optical Committee Support Unit which comprises of staff and advisors based across the country. To contact anyone from LOCSU, please ring Jacque Fooks on 020 7549 2051.

You can read more about our Advisors and their roles and responsibilities here.

You can find out about our staff below:

Katrina Venerus, BSc(Hons) MCOptom - Clinical Director

Katrina Venerus qualified as an optometrist in 1993.

Katrina has held a variety of clinical and managerial roles in optical practice over the past twenty years, and has previously been Clinical Advisor to the NHS in the North East of England.
Katrina joined LOCSU as part-time Clinical Associate in 2008. She was appointed Director of Operations and Commissioning in 2010 and was Managing Director from October 2012 until December 2016. She took up her current post as part-time Clinical Director in January 2017 to allow her to pursue a higher qualification in healthcare leadership.

Katrina has led the development of innovative primary eye care pathways which have now been adopted by a number of Clinical Commissioning Groups throughout England.
Katrina represents LOCSU and the wider optical sector in a number of NHS England and PCSE workstreams.

Katrina works collaboratively with other eye health stakeholders at a national level and is a member of the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning and the UK Vision Strategy Leadership Group.

Katrina is also the Chair of the North East and Cumbria Eye Health Network.


Richard WhittingtonRichard Whittington - Chief Operating Officer

Richard Whittington joined LOCSU as Assistant Director, Commissioning, in June 2016 from the NHS and was appointed as Chief Operating Officer in November 2016.

He is an experienced CCG Director and Acute Trust Director with extensive commissioning and service redesign experience. He led the initial commissioning of primary care ophthalmic service across a range of South East London PCTs and CCGs.

Richard has worked in and across all healthcare and care sectors and has a particular expertise in service change, organisational change and commissioning service delivery.

Throughout his career Richard has delivered real service change with measurable patient benefits and as such he has a proven record of delivery across QIPP programmes.


Richard KnightRichard Knight - Head of Policy

Richard joined LOCSU in July 2013 from The Investor Relations Society, where he was Head of Policy and Membership liaising with members from the majority of the FTSE100 and acting as the in-house regulatory and policy resource. Prior to this he worked for Capita Group PLC. He holds a BA Hons in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds and MSc in International Politics from the University of London (SOAS).


Chris McGachy - Head of Communications

Chris, who joined LOCSU in February 2014, has 25 years’ experience in communications having worked as a journalist, press officer and corporate communications manager. During his career he was Head of Editorial Channels at the Department of Trade & Industry before leaving to work as a freelance consultant for a range of membership organisations and industry associations in the transport, business, health, charity and regulatory sectors.


Lisa StonhamLisa Stonham – Information Officer

Lisa has a background in the arts and joined LOCSU in 2016 from Orchestras Live, a national music charity who enable orchestral music to be performed in underserved areas of England. Prior to this, she has worked for a range of not-for-profit organisations under many guises including grant administration, event management and business support.


Jacque Fooks - Office Manager

Joined LOCSU in January 2011, Jacque previously worked as Education Co-ordinator at NHS South West Essex PCT for several years, co-ordinating training events for 400 staff based in GP Practice.


Christiane Shrimpton - Director of Ophthalmology

Christiane Shrimpton joined LOCSU as a part-time Director of Ophthalmology in March 2018.

She has worked as an ophthalmologist at Furness General Hospital since 1999 and has held various leadership roles in Morecambe Bay since 2009. She has been registered with the General Medical Council since 1992 and joined the specialist register for Ophthalmology in 2010.

Since 2012 Christiane has held a number of senior roles within the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT). Most recently, in 2014, Christiane led major service reforms as Ophthalmology Lead for the Better Care Together (BCT) Initiative which saw almost 6,000 appointments move from the hospital eye service to community optical practices in its first year.

The Better Care Together initiative was part of a series of national reforms stemming from the Five Year Forward View blueprint which introduced New Care Models. These identified 50 Vanguard sites across England to deliver services with the “triple aim” of better population health, better quality services, delivered at a lower cost. This included a reform of the ophthalmology service in which Ms Shrimpton was appointed as BCT Lead.



Simone Mason - Digital Learning Support Officer

Simone Mason is Digital Learning Support Officer leading support for CGPLs in the sector. Simone is a Dispensing Optician with more than 25 years' experience and a member of Solihull LOC where she is a CGPL. Simone is also ABDO sub-regional lead for the Midlands and The North of England. She holds a postgraduate certificate in Leadership Skills for Optical Professionals and, in March 2017, passed the LOCSU Clinical Governance and Performance Lead course.


Contact us

Dates for the diary

Solihull LOC's AGM

St John's Hotel, 651 Warwick Rd, Solihull B91 1AT

Annual AGM

2018-10-03 19:00:00 - 2018-10-03 21:30:00

Contact name: Cathy Pike

Contact email:

National Optical Conference 2018

Chesford Grange hotel, Nr Kenilworth, Warwick CV8 2LD

Annual NOC for LOC officers and its members

2018-11-14 17:00:00 - 2018-11-15 17:30:00

Contact email:

Contact telephone number: 020 7549 2051

East Yorkshire LOC's AGM

Village Hotel, Henry Boot Way, Hull HU4 7DY

Annual AGM

2018-11-19 18:30:00 - 2018-11-19 21:00:00

Contact name: Ean Blair

Contact email:

Contact telephone number: 07768 492806

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