Consultations are an important part of policy engagement and gives LOCSU the opportunity to influence national policy. LOCSU leads and takes part in a large number of consultations affecting the optical sector including consultations released by government, NHS bodies and NICE amongst others, relating to commissioning frameworks, contractual mechanisms, clinical developments and much more.
The National Outpatient Transformation Programme (NOTP) is changing the way healthcare is provided, to give patients and their carers more control and choice over how and when they attend appointments. The National Eye Care Restoration and Transformation project, within NOTP, is bringing stakeholders including LOCSU, RCOphth, CoOptom, CCEHC, GIRFT and RNIB together to collaborate and lead programmes of work to restore and set the future direction of eye care.
So far in 2021 (as of April) LOCSU has taken part in the following consultations:
- NHS Provider Selection Regime (April): LOCSU submitted its own response welcoming many aspects of the proposed selection regime that will accompany forthcoming changes to health and social care but raising concerns over risks including those of ‘patronage’ commissioning. We also took the opportunity to call for the maintenance of nationally commissioned GOS.
- Royal College AMD Guidance (March): LOCSU worked with LOCs and sector colleagues leading a response to new AMD guidance.
- GOC Speaking Up Guidance (March): LOCSU submitted its own response calling for the GOC to consider other avenues for speaking up such as LOC regional forums.
- NHSEI Integrated Care (January): LOCSU submitted its own response cautiously welcoming elements of health restructuring while similarly to the NHS Provider Selection consultation flagging potential threats to GOS.
- NHSEI Standard Contract (January): LOCSU submitted its own response where we called for LOCs to be placed on equal footing with LMCs in the Standard Contract.
- Royal College Cataract Guidance (January): LOCSU submitted its own response asking for clearer distinction between community and primary.