LOCSU announces Year 2 of Optical Leads Project

8 March 2012

Following a recent and well responded to survey of Local Optical Committees (LOCs) in England which revealed that 88% would welcome hands-on support in negotiating with commissioners, LOCSU has announced details of the next stage of its Optical Leads Project. 

Katrina Venerus, LOCSU’s Director of Operations and Commissioning said
‘’In April 2011 LOCSU appointed 10 regional optical leads on a 12-month contract, to support the development of policy at a regional and national level and to offer support to LOCs at local level. Fast moving changes in the NHS landscape as the Health and Social Care Bill goes through Parliament have provided new opportunities and challenges for LOCs and the Optical Leads team has helped our professions to navigate the transition period at a local level. Bringing LOCs together where Eyecare Local Professional Networks (LPNs) are being tested at a PCT cluster level is a clear example of the value this team has added.’’

‘’Year 2 of the project will see the Optical Leads' role develop to be primarily focussed on working with and on behalf of LOCs to negotiate with Commissioners. Local Eyecare Services (excluding General Ophthalmic Services) will be the responsibility of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the new NHS and we have already seen examples where CCGs are looking for LOCs to form single provider companies to contract for local services. The need for LOCSU to provide expertise in this area, combined with the increased call from LOCs for direct support in developing business cases and presenting them to commissioners,  means that the year 2 of the Optical Leads Project needs to build on the achievements of year 1 and to work closely with LOCs to maximise the opportunities to expand local eyecare services.’’

‘’We know that some LOCs have the skills within their committees to continue to grow the numbers of local eyecare services but we need to support all LOCs in their aims.  The Optical Leads team will have the opportunity to work with some of the top influencers in the profession and make a real difference to the profile of local eye care services.”

In order to be totally transparent and to offer opportunities to the widest possible field of applicants, LOCSU has decided to commence a recruitment process for year two including inviting year one leads to apply.
Applicants are expected to demonstrate a good understanding of the optical sector and have a real passion for developing services and negotiating with commissioners.  A commitment of at least 8 days per month is required. Appointments will be made on a fixed term contract basis.  More details, including role description, person specification and application forms are available from www.locsu.co.uk or www.locsu.co.uk/about-us/workwithus

Notes to editors
• A survey of 77 LOCs was carried out in the week commencing 13th February 2012 and responses were received from 86% of LOCs who were sent surveys. 


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