LOCSU funds PEARS training

30 November 2011


Local and Regional Optical Committees negotiating a Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service (PEARS) with NHS commissioners now have access to a training module launched by the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU).   

The distance learning programme developed for LOCSU by the Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre (WOPEC) is based on training already provided for optometrists in Wales and is available free of charge to Local and Regional Optical Committees who are members of LOCSU. The package comprises seven lectures and associated questions on CD Rom and is worth a total of 14 CET points. The modules concentrate on the common eye conditions that present to optometrists providing PEARS. The modules use a symptoms, signs and management approach to each eye condition. Once candidates have completed each lecture they simply upload their answers to the WOPEC web page (www.wopec.co.uk) for verification.

LOCSU and WOPEC will work with Local and Regional Optical Committees who have negotiated the commissioning of a PEARS enhanced service, sometimes known as General Referral Refinement, to set up the practical skills assessments that optometrists are required to undertake for accreditation following the successful completion of the distance learning.

Katrina Venerus, Director of Operations and Commissioning at LOCSU said:
“Commissioning a greater number of PEARS or general referral refinement services across England and Wales is essential if the NHS wants to increase patient access and choice and provide value for money eyecare. This course will give Commissioners confidence in the ability of optometrists to provide this type of enhanced service safely and successfully.”

Dr Nik Sheen, Co-Director, Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre said:
“This PEARS course will give optometrists the confidence to utilise their existing skills and ensure local PEARS pathways are successfully implemented.”

To obtain access to the training, LOCs should contact Jacque Hudson, LOCSU Office Manager, at jacquehudson@locsu.co.uk or 020 7549 2051.

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