Commissioners' Guide - page 2

Commissioners’ Guide to Community Eye Health Services and Primary Eyecare Companies
©2014 LOC Support Unit
2
Clinical expertise available locally
Local Optical Committees (LOCs) have been at the forefront of developing eye health pathways within the NHS
over the past 20 years and can do evenmore in helping commissioners to deliver the Department of Health’s QIPP
objectives of increased capacity, better outcomes and better quality within increasingly restricted resources.
LOCs are recognised by NHS England as the representative voice of the optical professions (i.e local optometrists
and dispensing opticians) in each area. There are 81 LOCs which cover the whole of England. The LOC canwork with
commissioners and other stakeholders to redesign local eye health pathways and develop patient-centredQIPP
focussed community eye health services tomaximise available NHS resources. LOCs can also set up their own single
provider Companies (known as
Primary Eyecare Companies
) which can act as a prime contractor for commissioning
purposes.
Not all patients with an eye problem
need the expertise of a consultant
ophthalmologist. Many patients can be
treated by optometrists and dispensing
opticians in the community, freeing up
capacity and reducing waiting times
within the Hospital Eye Service to ensure
that those patients withmore complex
conditions are seen in a timely fashion.
Optical practices, found on high streets and
within local communities across England,
have qualified clinical staff and a high level
of equipment as standard.
QIPP Focussed Pathways
PRODUCTIVITY
– Cost
savings can be realised
by allowing patients to be
assessed and treated by
eye health professionals
in the community, thus
reducing any unnecessary
activity in secondary care
ophthalmology units.
INNOVATION
– The
Primary Eyecare
Company
model combinedwith the
LOCSUpathways facilitates the delivery
of best practice community eye health
services in primary care as an innovative
alternative to traditional hospital based
eye health services.
QUALITY
– Community-based
eye health services will be
delivered by accredited highly
skilled professionals working
inwell-equipped premises
in accessible primary care
locations, with regular reporting
of activity and outcomes.
PREVENTION
– Easily accessible
community eye health services will allow
early detection of eye conditions in a
greater number of people, and reduce
secondary care waiting times for those
who need specialist ophthalmologist care,
reducing the risk of avoidable sight loss.
Key benefits of community-based eye health
services
Cost effective care pathways
• Speedier access to care
• Care closer to home
• Less travel for patients
• Continuity of care
• Reduction in outpatient referrals to acute hospital
services
• Reduction in unnecessary follow-ups
• Closer working between GPs and local optical practices
.
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