LOCSU’s Community Optometric Services
What is the problem in providing eyecare?
- 1.8 million people live with sightloss in the UK today (Future Sight Loss UK, RNIB 2008)
- Ophthalmology accounts for the 8th highest level of programme spend in England and is rising
How is the Department of Health trying to solve this problem?
Since 2004, the DH has been trying to encourage the delivery of more routine and minor emergency eyecare outside hospital in community optical practices. The aim is to free up hospital capacity to cope with increasing demand from both the ageing population and new technologies eg wet AMD treatments.
What eyecare can be provided in the community?
Throughout the UK, community optical practices are successfully and safely delivering local community services in primary care with high levels of patient satisfaction, as part of local integrated pathways linking into secondary care as appropriate. A key benefit of implementing these community services is a reduction in referral rates to GPs, A&E and hospital eye departments.
How can LOCSU help?
As well as developing accredited pathways for LOCs to use. LOCSU can:
- help LOCs to develop business cases for community services
- work with local commissioners while the business is set up
LOCSU's support in managing community services
LOCSU has worked in partnership with Webstar Health to develop a package of easily accessible web-based management solutions known as OptoManager which will allow:
- Local Optical Committees (LOCs) to offer managed community services to commissioners including administration, data collection and performance reports
- Speedier and easier administration of community services allowing LOCs to focus on service delivery and outcomes
An LOC company is a vehicle to enable an LOC to put together a consortium of local contractors so that they can all participate in an AQP (Any Qualified Provider) contract as they could do in the past with their own direct contract.
The LOCSU suggested method is to use a company limited by guarantee with LOCSU as the member to facilitate (LOCSU is itself a company limited by guarantee whose members are ABDO, AOP and FODO) and the Directors appointed by the LOC.
A guide to LOC Companies is available.
For further information or advice please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find out more about individual pathways below.
LOC members can, via their log in, also access through these pages, the members’ only areas which contain supporting documentation for each pathway. This includes the actual pathway, building a business case, and sample presentations.