LOCSU Chairman calls for practitioners to get involved at a local level

9 November 2011

 Practitioners have a real opportunity to reap the rewards of the NHS reforms by getting involved with their Local or Regional Optical Committee, according to LOCSU Chairman Alan Tinger.  Speaking after the National Optometric Conference which took place last week, he went on to say.
“Leading NHS policymakers at this year’s NOC have underlined the need for Committees to seize the moment – and use the NHS reforms as an opportunity to increase the number of local enhanced services.  By doing so, optical professionals also have the chance to reap the business rewards of increasing access to their services as well as the opportunity to develop their own skills and help patients.   With new enhanced services commissioned with LOCSU support last year worth an estimated £3 million per annum to the optical profession, there is a real opportunity to develop the range of services available for patients at local practices.
“The announcement by the General Optical Council that Peer Discussion is set to become a mandatory CET activity, means that Local and Regional Optical Committees (LOCs/ ROCs) are also set to become key channels for these sessions which will help the profession to develop.
“To help achieve this, Committees need access to the widest pool of talent and skills across the profession; you may be working as an optometrist or a dispensing optician, based in a large chain or an independent practice. But whatever your place of work, if you have the skills and enthusiasm to advance the profession - Local or Regional Optical Committees are the right place for you.”

LOCSU has also recently developed a number of areas to support the development of skills at local level including:
• bespoke training for LOCs and ROCs
• new officer induction training
• Leadership Skills module (provided jointly with the Wales Optometric Postgraduate Education Centre) which offers the optical sector the first leadership skills course specifically tailored to the needs of optometrists and dispensing opticians
• Development of Optical Leads to provide strategic advice within regions

Notes to editors
• This year’s National Optometric Conference on 3rd and 4th November 2011 was attended by more than 230 delegates – the majority were from Local and Regional Optical Committees


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