LOCSU Annual Report 2013/14 - page 23

CASE STUDY – Charting the LOC Company
LOCSU helps LOCs grow locally and
Questions are asked regularly whether an LOC
Company can be a viable commercial entity rather
than an administrative vehicle for putting together
winning bids for community pathways. GM Primary
Eyecare is more a regional company than local
provider, but it is a shining example of what is possible
in the world of community optics.
The evolving story of GM Primary Eyecare is the story
of LOCSU and Optical Lead support and training, as
it has grown from Primary Eyecare Stockport into a
larger LOC Company, and a force to be reckoned with,
delivering seven services.
It started in autumn 2012 in Stockport where Primary
Eyecare Stockport was activated to submit what was a
successful AQP bid for a Minor Eye Conditions Service.
At the same time, similar conversations were taking
place in Greater Manchester about commissioning
and recommissioning of services. Greater Manchester
has a large dense population but is a tight
geographical area, making it ideal for a single provider
model approach collectively by optical practices.
With help and input from LOCSU, seven LOCs jointly
decided to establish GM Primary Care. Optical Lead
Dharmesh Patel said that discussions around the
sharing of skills and resources and the economies
of scale meant the decision to form a joint regional
company was a no-brainer.
Finance Director, Matthew Jinkinson, said that GM
Primary Eyecare can bust any myths among the
professions that the LOC Company is not a financially
viable approach.
“Primary Eyecare Stockport started with a £2,500
interest-free loan from the LOC that was paid back
within the first year. All the ongoing costs are built into
the contracts. The company now has seven services
across Greater Manchester and that number will have
almost doubled within six months.
“There is no doubt that the LOC Company model
can be financially viable and the best route for an
LOC to evolve. But key to that journey is the support
and partnership of LOCSU in terms of helping with
governance, advice and a hand to hold on to when
taking your first steps as a single provider.
Commissioners are also keen on the approach and
its high-quality outcomes for patients. Charlotte
Booth, Senior Commissioning Programme Manager,
NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical
Commissioning Group, said, “LOCSU have been
exemplary when supporting the CCG in its approach
to eye care services. The CCG commissions a number
of services, all of which LOCSU have been a great
support in developing and mobilising. A very proactive
approach which has overcome any barriers to ensure
the delivery of high-quality patient outcomes. Very
professional, well organised and ever pleasant!”
GM Primary Eyecare can bust any
myths among the professions that
the LOC Company is not a
financially viable approach.
Matthew Jinkinson, Financial Director.
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