As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak develops, LOCSU is working with all Optical Sector bodies including the OFNC.
The OFNC (Optical Fees Negotiation Committee) is comprised of the national representative bodies and is in close touch with NHS England-NHS Improvement, DHSC, the College of Optometrists, the GOC and LOCSU.
On 17th April, a new Covid-19 Urgent Eyecare Service (CUES) was announced. Read full details here.
As of 1st April, NHSE confirmed details of support payments for practices which continue to provide essential care for patients during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the OFNC statement including the NHSE letter, here. The timings for support payments are detailed here.
To help LOCs through this difficult time, the decision has been taken to halt LOCSU levy payments entirely in respect of the four-month period April-July 2020. Read more here.
LOCSU together with Primary Eyecare Services (PES) have undertaken a joint initiative to make PPE available for purchase by optical practices via a new online shop, primaryeyecaresupplies.co.uk
A podcast about CUES was recorded on 24th April.
Other Sources of Current Guidance
General Coronavirus advice for clinicians:
The College of Optometrists are hosting an FAQ which can be found at:
Further advice can be found on government and NHS websites:
- UK government
- Public Health England
- Novel coronavirus: guidance for health professionals
- Novel coronavirus: guidance for primary care
- Novel coronavirus: guidance to assist professionals in advising the general public
- World Health Organisation
Remote Operating Support
The government’s social distancing policy, as well as many people self-isolating, creates a challenges for LOCs to to operate, particularly with regard to upcoming AGMs.
LOCSU can support all LOCs to meet via the use of Microsoft Teams. The Optical Leads team will be able to support LOCs regionally and at no additional cost to the LOC. A member of the team will contact each LOC to discuss the options and help support next steps.
The LOCSU Optical Leads are: