LOCSU Annual Report 2013/14 - page 24

LOCSU Annual Report 2013/14
CASE STUDY – Tried and Tested
South Tees recommissioning
When South Tees CCG and Hartlepool and Stockton
CCG (HAST CCG) decided to move their existing
community services onto the NHS Standard Contract,
they worked closely with the LOC to revisit the
pathways and introduce added value.
LOCSU Optical Lead Zoe Richmond was able
to support the LOC in their dealings with the
Commissioning Support Unit (CSU), drawing on best-
practice models that could be adopted within the
Standard Contract. Zoe was able to suggest national
pathways and specifications for the recommissioning
of a number of community services, including low
vision, cataract referral, emergency eye care service
(a MECS-type service) and IOP RR.
Zoe’s involvement, with the wider insight of LOCSU
nationally, resulted in the introduction of more efficient
working models with higher fees for practices, while
at the same time making the services more widely
available and accessible for patients across the region.
The use of a tailored OptoManager module was
negotiated so that the outcomes of the services
could be measured and compared against national
standards. This is hugely important for the
sustainability of the services as Commissioners have
made it clear that evidence of performance will be
required to support future recommissioning. Combined,
the value of the multiple contracts between the CCG
and the forty-plus practices involved in the three-year
deal, will be worth between £150,000 and £200,000.
“The Tees CCGs ensure that they work closely with the
LOC and its nominated lead during the development
of any optometry-based service. This is critical to make
certain that a specification meets the requirements
of the Commissioners whilst at the same time
guaranteeing that it can be successfully implemented
by the providers. This collaborative approach is an
efficient and cost-effective method for Commissioners
in obtaining such specialist input, and also provides a
benefit to the local optical community and patients.
NECS/Tees CCGs have an excellent relationship with
the Tees LOC and the outcome of this relationship
benefits both Commissioners and providers and it is
one that we will be looking to maintain in the future.”
– Andrew Rowlands, Senior Commissioning Support
Officer – Provider Management, North of England
Commissioning Support.
Julie Breen, Chair of Tees LOC said: “I have been a Tees
LOC committee member for some years. I served as
secretary for some time and I have been chair now
for three years. In that time, the work of the LOC has
changed out of all recognition, in terms of volume
and type. We’re now working all the time on projects
and services that directly benefit the optometrists and
opticians in the area, both clinically and financially. We
need to get it right!
“Unlike a lot of the CCGs in England, our cluster
decided to deal direct with the contractors following
the local review of the community services and not
go through an LOC Company. So it fell to the LOC
to review the service specifications for each of the
four services we offer, and the particulars of the NHS
Standard Contract. No pressure then!
“To say that Zoe’s input has been helpful would be an
enormous understatement. To know that I was going
into a meeting with commissioning support with
the backup of someone who was familiar with these
contacts, and who knew what could and could not be
added, changed and removed, despite what we were
being told, was greatly comforting. It made for quick,
productive meetings too, which is always a boon for all
“I believe that without Zoe’s support Tees would not
have the sensible contracts and procedures that we
now have.
“I’m not saying that implementing an NHS Standard
Contract for each contractor is plain sailing, but again,
with Zoe’s help and input, we’re monitoring the
progress in partnership with the CSU and I feel we
will be in a good position to argue for commissioning
through an LOC Company in future.”
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