LOCSU Annual Report 2013/14 - page 5

5
Managing Director’s Report
The newNHS commissioning landscape has intensified
the need for the support LOCSU provides for LOCs and
LOC Companies. The skills and expertise of our Optical
Leads have proven to be invaluable.
I amdelighted that all bids for community services
developed by LOCSU in the past year were successful and
have brought patients through the door of community
optical practices. Although NHS procurements are
laborious and bureaucratic, the LOC Company model
and the knowledge and proficiency of the LOCSU team
have made it possible for practices of all shapes and
sizes to come together to seize every opportunity CCGs
present themwith. Of course, commissioning support
extends way beyond business cases, bids and tenders,
and our tools for LOC Companies are vital.
We have begun to explore collaboration between
primary and secondary care to provide an all-
encompassing community ophthalmology service,
in response to Commissioners’ demands. This is an area
we hope to work more closely with the Royal College of
Ophthalmologists on in the year ahead. We have also
been investigating diabetic eye screening models based
around community optical practices.
Amajor disappointment for LOCSU last year was
the outcome of the DVLA bid. We were extremely
disappointed not to have won the contract for the sector,
particularly as our bid was scored highest on quality.
While increasing numbers of CCGs are contracting
through LOC Companies to reduce administration,
some still choose to contract with practices individually.
Importantly, our Optical Leads have influencedmany
CCGs to adopt LOCSU’s standardised approach for
community services which includes national pathways
and accreditation, and robust data collection via an
IT platform.
The featured case studies highlight where Optical
Leads make a genuine impact on local commissioning.
However, these represent a fraction of the wide-ranging
and often demanding work that they and our head office
teamare involved in.
With NHS England, I ampleased to report that our
support work to develop Local Eye Health Networks
(LEHNs) and our drive to engage the whole eye health
sector is paying off. Almost all Area Teams have
established an LEHN, andmany are beginning to deliver.
Bringing LEHNs closer to the Clinical Council for Eye
Health Commissioning is next on the agenda.
Much of our work with NHS England for LOCs is
in conjunction with colleagues from the Optical
Confederation. Collaborative efforts on the NHS England
eye health policy development group and in strategic
influencing of the national team’s work ensure that the
community optical sector is well represented
in all relevant forums.
Our participation in the working group developing
the Call to Action for Eye Health cemented LOCSU’s
reputation as an organisation that is knowledgeable
and influential in the commissioning of eye health
services. Our work to lead the national response
and support LOCs to develop a truly local response is
essential to grasp this once in a lifetime opportunity
to shape service delivery.
Along with tremendous efforts of our Optical Leads
and Advisors, I want to pay tribute to the hard work
and dedication of my HQ team; particularly, the
substantial contribution of Richard Knight, LOCSU’s
Executive Officer in his first year in the post.
Gill Brabner’s creative approach to learning and
development is inspiring, Jacque Hudson has played
a key role inmanaging the LOCSU office, and Chris
McGachy has provided professional communications
support during Jenny Manchester’s maternity leave.
LOCSU is a continuing success story – punching
above its weight. Financial constraints and an ageing
populationmean we are now entering a new era of
better outcomes through amore preventative approach.
LOCSUwill continue to press the case that community
optics can improve public health outcomes – building
community eye care services for practitioners and
patients alike.
“Our participation in the working group developing
the Call to Action for Eye Health cemented LOCSU’s
reputation as an organisation that is knowledgeable and
influential in the commissioning of eye health services.”
Katrina Venerus
Managing Director
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