Regional momentum driving community services new LOCSU Annual Report reveals

6 October 2015

Regional LOC Companies are on the increase according to the 2014-15 LOCSU Annual Report published today.

LOCSU reveals that “regional momentum” is a growing and defined development in the commissioning landscape in the report, entitled “Leaders at every table”.

40 out of 78 LOCs are now covered by a Regional Company and a total of 63 LOCs are now promoting the single provider model to attract services. More than half of LOCs (44 out of 78) have at least one community service commissioned through a Primary Eyecare Company.

Outlining the shift, LOCSU Managing Director, Katrina Venerus, said: “We are seeing a clear trend from both Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and LOCs attracted to the benefits of the company model.

“LOCs are drawn to its efficiency as it eases the administrative burden and allows practices of all sizes to participate in pathways.

“Similarly, hard-pressed CCGs understand the benefits of administering one contract but still offering patients a wide choice of practices for eye health services.

“The Regional Company model is a turbo-charged version of the LOC Company offering CCGs a single provider across a wider area and enabling LOCs to pool resources and combine expertise to successfully bid for services with LOCSU’s support.

“The end result is more beneficial for patients and more cost-effective for Commissioners.”

The Annual Report shows that, of the more than 500 community services in place, 159 have been established since April 2014 and the number of services delivered through an LOC Company has doubled in the past 12 months.

Case studies in the report also highlight LOC and LOCSU activities in the past year to develop new care models to show how optics can innovative to help reform eye health services.

Publishing the report, Ms Venerus said: “Whether it is in representing the sector and influencing decision makers at a national and strategic level, helping LOCs attract services through our network of Optical Leads, helping LOCs develop and flourish through learning and development and putting leaders at ever table, LOCSU is certainly more than the sum of its parts; this year’s Annual Report reflects that.”

Also published today, LOCSU has completed the first major update to the Atlas of Optical Variation.

For the first time, the Atlas now shows details of services delivered by LOC Companies as well as those commissioned via individual contracts.

The map view shows services by pathway type, with geographic groupings by NHS regional team that can be broken down to LOC or CCG level.

Commenting on the updated Atlas, Venerus said: “The reality is community eye services are still a postcode lottery due to the absence of national standardised commissioning.

“The updated Atlas of Variation offers a snapshot of the current provision and gaps around the country.

“It will be useful for LOCs, for Commissioners and for the public to be able to see where services exist and how they are provided.”

The live Atlas can be found on the LOCSU website at:

To read the full Annual Report visit:




Chris McGachy, LOCSU Communications Manager, email, or telephone 020 7549 2053.



The Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) works with the Optical Confederation to support Local Optical Committees (LOCs) across England in developing local eye health services. LOCSU helps community optometrists and opticians work with local commissioners to make community eye services accessible for patients and cost effective for the NHS. LOCs represent the interests of Optometrists, Dispensing Opticians and Contractors of Ophthalmic services in local areas.

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