LOCSU Annual Report 2013/14 - page 27

CASE STUDY – Collaboration
LOCSU support for Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale &
Bury LOC highlights how the LOC Company model and
the use of data developed across a region can help
develop a collaborative approach that benefits both
the LOC and influences Commissioners.
Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale & Bury LOC covers two
CCGs; Bury CCG and Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale
There was a Minor Eye Conditions Service already running
in HMR; the Stockport model having been adopted by the
CCG and managed by GM Primary Eyecare. However, Bury
had no community services in place.
With the help of Optical Lead, Dharmesh Patel, the
LOC took the case for a MECS scheme to Bury CCG.
Commissioners were receptive to the concept as
it met their objectives of reducing hospital-based
ophthalmology and delivery eye care closer to home.
Dharmesh recalls that they were able to influence
Commissioners by demonstrating success with the
use of data from elsewhere across Greater Manchester
and nationwide. Commissioners were also attracted to
the single contracting model.
Dr Kiran Patel, Chairman and Clinical Lead for NHS
Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We
have been able to work with our local optometrists
to develop a scheme where patients with minor eye
conditions can be seen and assessed by specially
trained optometrists at the local opticians. This is an
example of different clinicians working together to
ensure patients are seen, more quickly, closer to home
and by the most appropriate person the very first time.
We are very excited by it and hope that we can develop
other similar services with other professionals.”
The Bury MECS scheme also involves a novel and
collaborative approach with community pharmacy
that aims to reduce pressure on GP appointments and
hospital attendance.
As part of the pilot scheme, 12 optical practices will
become the first port of call for people suffering from a
range of eye-related problems, and it is predicted that
around 2,000 local people will benefit from the service.
Optometrists will be able to prescribe certain
medications where appropriate, and patients can go
straight to the pharmacists who will provide what has
been prescribed; NHS England will recoup the costs of
the medication from the CCG.
Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale & Bury LOC has
worked closely with the Local Pharmacy Committee
(and through the LEHN) to develop the collaborative
approach that is clearly supported by Commissioners.
The local newspaper, the
Bury Times
(below) ran an
article highlighting the benefits of the scheme and
the new role to be played by community optometrists.
Welcoming the initiative of the optical sector,
Ian Short, Chief Officer, Bury & Rochdale Local
Pharmaceutical Committee, Oldham, Tameside &
Glossop said: “Over the past couple of years the Local
Pharmaceutical and Local Optical Committees, in my
area at least, have been talking to each other more
than at any time in my 34-year career. We know
there is more to do to ensure that patients get the
full benefit, but the potential is there to make a real
difference to their care. The next step is to organise
joint training to improve referrals to each other’s
services, and I look forward to continuing to work with
the LOC to make it happen.”
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