LOCSU and Newmedica plan national framework for stable glaucoma monitoring
17 January 2019
Opticians will be able to work collaboratively with Newmedica ophthalmology consultants to manage patients with stable glaucoma in the community under a new LOCSU agreement now being developed.
The glaucoma plan follows the introduction last year of the first national framework agreement which enabled cataract patients to return to their community optometrist for post-operative assessment.
The LOCSU agreement was announced by Richard Whittington, LOCSU Chief
Operating Officer, at 100% Optical.
He said: “LOCSU and Newmedica recognise the value of extending the existing agreement to include a broader range of services. As a result, we are pleased to announce that we will be introducing a stable glaucoma monitoring framework which will see Newmedica consultants and community opticians manage patients’ treatment under a shared care initiative. Work has now begun to establish the process with the view to moving into pilot later this year.
“The intention is that once patients are categorised as stable by their consultant they will be offered the opportunity to have their follow-up appointments in the community at an accredited optical practice. Here they will undergo all the appropriate diagnostic tests and be examined by a trained optometrist who will then make an interim decision on the next phase of their treatment using the Newmedica outcome framework. Newmedica consultants will review the test results virtually and sign off the patient’s treatment plan.”
The framework will be open to all optician practices that are accredited to deliver services. This will include having the necessary diagnostic kit as well as undertaking the appropriate accreditation.
Darshak Shah, Newmedica Managing Director, said: ‘At Newmedica we are delighted to be entering into an agreement with LOCSU that will be open to all accredited optometrists wherever they work.
‘We are also pleased with the progress that has been made with rolling out the post-cataract framework. In northern Lincolnshire 68% of all patients now return to their community optometrist after cataract surgery for post-operative assessment. The framework has also been integrated into schemes commissioned by CCGs in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, with most patients now seen by community practices. We are activating services in Avon, Leeds and Derbyshire where more than 200 opticians have recently completed their clinical accreditation, and we are looking forward to a number of new sites coming on line later this year.’
For further information contact:
LOCSU – firstname.lastname@example.org
Newmedica – email@example.com
LOCSU – Richard Whittington, 07808 871232, firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
The post-operative cataract pathway
Following-day case cataract surgery at a Newmedica surgical centre the patient will be discharged with appropriate instructions and medication.
If all is well the patient will visit the referring optometrist after four weeks for the final post-op examination and GOS refraction. If there any complications the optometrist will refer back to the treatment centre and if not the optometrist will send information to the treatment centre and GP and refer back for second eye operation if appropriate, or discharge the patient and advise on the interval before next routine sight test.
Founded more than a decade ago by Darshak Shah, an entrepreneur and eyecare patient, and Jeremy Diamond, a consultant ophthalmologist, Newmedica is one of the leading providers of NHS-funded ophthalmology services in England.
It provides services for NHS CCGs, NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, and other providers of NHS-funded services and delivers over 120,000 patient interactions annually in more than 25 services across England.
In the past year Newmedica has established four new eye health clinics and surgical centres in North East Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol and Leeds and has plans to open around ten more in England in the year ahead.
In November 2016 Specsavers made a major investment in Newmedica and the two organisations are working together to close the gap between ophthalmology and optometry.
Darshak Shah, Newmedica MD, is an economist and NHS ophthalmology patient.
The Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) works with the Optical Confederation to support Local Optical Committees (LOCs) and Primary Eyecare Companies (PECs) 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.