LOCSU Annual Report 2013/14 - page 25

Hampshire sparks interest
The commissioning of the North Hampshire PEARS
service last year has led to the addition of a glaucoma
repeat reading service being added in autumn 2014
with the CCG actively exploring the commissioning of
other services as well. In tandem, Optical Lead, Chris
Newall, is helping the LOC establish an LOC Company
to meet future commissioning needs.
All of this activity has sparked the interest of
neighbouring CCGs, with North East Hampshire and
Farnham CCG and some of their Surrey neighbours
recently commissioning glaucoma repeat readings,
cataract referral and wet AMD pathways. Other
services including PEARS, are also being considered
by these CCGs following the success of the North
Hampshire scheme.
“We have really valued the advice and support we
have received from LOCSU and it is both professionally
rewarding and genuinely exciting to see new
community-based eye services being implemented
in North Hampshire,” said Hampshire LOC Secretary
Rosin Carruthers.
As part of the drive to provide patient-centered
services closer to home, North East Hampshire and
Farnham CCG were keen to utilise the skills and
capacity of community optometrists. “Robust data
collection is an essential requirement in all of the
services we commission, therefore, implementing
the OptoManager IT platform so that we can monitor
the outcomes of the community pathways we have
commissioned, with minimal administration, is an
important part of our strategy. The LOCSU pathways
and accreditation modules are also very valuable
to CCGs when developing community eye health
services.” – Lauren Pennington, Senior Commissioning
Manager Planned Care, North East Hampshire and
Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group.
Birmingham recommissioning
Initiative shown by Birmingham LOC has been
rewarded with Commissioners agreeing to pick up
the tab for future OptoManager costs with a positive
knock-on effect for the surrounding LOCs.
Birmingham LOC, supported by LOCSU, had taken a
decision to fund OptoManager software itself. Having
worked out that the costs were not prohibitive, the LOC
decided to put the IT in place for practices as part of
a drive to influence CCGs to implement a less paper-
based system.
Once they saw it in action, two CCGs in Birmingham
(Cross City CCG and South and Central CCG) realised
the good value of the managed service platform and
the savings in administration as well as the data
generated. The CCGs were subsequently persuaded
to take over the cost of the software. Similarly, having
seen the benefits of it working in Birmingham,
neighbouring CCGs in Solihull and Dudley have agreed
to meet the software costs too.
Tees Low Vision
A signal that the local NHS Trust wanted to give notice
and exit a service was the catalyst for LOCSU to get
involved with Tees LOC to develop a low vision pilot.
The Commissioners gave the evidence from the pilot
the thumbs up and offered local practices a new three-
year contract.
From the 1 May 2014, a new NHS Standard Contract
has been offered out to practices treating an
anticipated 800 patients and meeting Commissioners
objectives to provide services closer to home at a cost
of around £56,000.
LOCSU’s supportive role was to develop an
OptoManager module with Webstar Health that
provided robust data collection and evidence
to support the recommissioning from pilot to
mainstream service. Optical Lead Zoe Richmond
worked with the LOC and the CSU to build a business
case to back up the recommissioning proposal and
increase the fee to meet the costs of the IT module.
The IT had been provided at no cost during the pilot
as the module was still in development.
Iain Mellis, LOC Lead for Low Vision, commented:
“Working closely with Zoe on several enhanced
services over the years, I have found her knowledge
invaluable and virtually endless, especially when it
comes to the bureaucracy of how the NHS operates.
I am always surprised at the amount of meetings and
extra work that she does. I am very pleased that we
have an Optical Lead that works for the LOC and liaises
with the CCGs, otherwise I could not imagine having
half the community services in our area and they
certainly wouldn’t run anywhere as smoothly as they
do now.”
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