Commissioners' Guide - page 7

©2014 LOC Support Unit
Commissioners’ Frequently AskedQuestions
Where can I find out information about how community eye health pathways?
Information, including details of community eye health pathways available can be found at LOCSU’s website,
How can I find out details of Local Optical Committees (LOCs) in my region?
Contact LOCSU at either
or call 0207 549 2051.
What kind of safety assurance can you give about community eye health practitioners who
provide these services?
In addition to the professional qualifications they are required to possess, every community eye health practitioner
who participates in these services also has to undertake nationally accredited practical and theoretical training,
specific to the individual service.
Isn’t there a conflict of interest between a LOC which represents optical practices in its region
and the
Primary Eyecare Company
which is a provider of services to the local commissioner?
Primary Eyecare Company
is established by the LOC as a contracting vehicle for the network of local optical
practices to be able to bid for and deliver services as a single provider. LOCSU recommends that the Directors of
Primary Eyecare Company
should not be officers of the LOC and that the Company should report regularly to
the LOC.
Primary Eyecare Companies
bid for services through any type of NHS procurement?
Primary Eyecare Companies
are successfullymanaging services for commissioners who have used all three
types of NHS procurement processes (Any Qualified Provider, Competitive Tendering and Single Tender).
Does the
Primary Eyecare Company
represent both multiple practices (e.g Specsavers, Boots
etc) as well as smaller independent practices, to ensure that patients get the best choice of
All optical practices in the Local Optical Committee (LOC) area are invited to participate in the community
services that the
Primary Eyecare Company
will deliver, subject to the practice and the cliniciansmeeting the
accreditation requirements. It is not compulsory for practices to participate in these services, but bothmultiple
and independent practices have opted to get involved in every area where services have been commissioned so far.
What kind of governance structure is in place to ensure that the
Primary Eyecare Company
is fit for purpose in terms of fulfilling the obligations of the service contract?
Primary Eyecare Companies
are companies limited by guarantee and are not-for-profit organisations.
AMemorandumof Understanding is entered into between the Board of Directors and the LOC to ensure total
transparency and to set out the requirement that the Company operates in the best interests of local optical
practices. Each Company delivering services will appoint a Clinical Governance and Performance Lead to provide
clinical leadership and oversee the delivery of the service. The Clinical Governance and Performance Lead reports
to the Board.
A number of Clinical Commissioning Groups want to work together to commission a minor
eye conditions service which covers a wide geographical region. How would this work?
In a number of regions, including Greater Manchester and the North East of England, a number of LOCs have
collaborated to set up a regional
Primary Eyecare Company
which contracts with groups of CCGs on behalf of
several LOCs to provide services across a number of areas.
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