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 Hudson 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 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.
Gill Brabner - Learning & Development Consultant
Joined LOCSU in September 2010, Gill previously worked as Head of Workforce Development at NHS West Essex Community Health Services. Gill’s work at LOCSU includes establishing the 20 credit postgraduate module at WOPEC, Cardiff University, Leadership Skills for Optical Professionals, the highly regarded facilitator training days, numerous short online courses to support the work of LOCs and accredited coaching and mentoring programmes.
Richard 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 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.