News and Secretary's Reports


Key points from the North Yorkshire Local Optical Committee meeting & AGM 


Election of Officers

Chair- Darryl Taylor, Vice Chair- Rebecca Stoner, Secretary- Sarah Ashworth, Treasurer- Philip Angel 

Secretary’s Report

Over the last year, discussions in the LOC meetings have focussed around referral pathways and enhanced services attained by the LOC Company.

The LOC Company, named Primary Eyecare North Yorkshire and Humber Ltd, began in 2013 with their aim being to negotiate and bid for these enhanced service contracts. Currently, the LOC Company is sub-contracting to over 130 practices.The following services are currently running successfully:

Harrogate has MECS and cataract referral refinement, as well as a SpaMedica contract.

Scarborough and Ryedale currently has the cataract scoring scheme and MECS.

York has the direct cataract referral refinement scheme. Unfortunately, due to a change in bidding criteria the MECS service in York was awarded to Healthcare Business Solutions (HBS). This situation has hopefully been rectified for the future so it won’t affect the success of the LOC Company winning more contracts going forward. On a positive note, an Ophthalmologist who will soon be a Glaucoma consultant at York HES has contacted the LOC with an interest in improving glaucoma screening and monitoring in the community.

There is a NewMedica post op cataract contract in North and North East Lincolnshire.

East Riding of Yorkshire has MECS and a SpaMedica post op contract.

Bedfordshire also have a MECS contract.

To become accredited for these enhanced services, please contact the LOC secretary via email: with your name and GOC number and you will be provided with a unique WOPEC code to get started.

The LOC CET annual event at the National Railway Museum in York has been arranged for 15th October 2019. Liz Langton also runs peer review sessions periodically throughout the year. Further information will be published on the LOC website so you can book early and guarantee your place.

LOC Company Update

Contracts in all the following areas: East Riding of Yorkshire, Bedfordshire, North Yorkshire and Humber, Scarborough and Harrogate all have extended contracts for another year, if not more.

Lisa was pleased to report the best income month so far for the company to date.

Treasurer’s Report

The statutory levy for 2018 was 1.5% of the sight test fee. The levy for LOCSU was 0.5% (national level) and the remaining 1% levy was retained by the LOC. 

The LOC Company has become financially self-sustainable and has paid back some of the original set up loan from the LOC, therefore a net gain is shown in the LOC accounts. 

Due to this surplus of funds, the statutory level was voted to be reduced for 2019 to 1.0%, to be split equally between LOCSU and the LOC.

LOCSU Update

The joining of NHS England and NHS Improvement creates seven single integrated regions. This is to reduce costs of resources by ~25%. NHS North of England is split and becomes: North East and Yorkshire and North West. There are Integrated Care Systems within North East and Yorkshire (aligned to current STP geographies).

The Integrated care systems are to make Ophthalmology a priority for the next two years, leading to an opportunity for primary care in delivering more services at a community level.

For 2018/2019, LOCSU have helped fast-track the resolution of PCSE issues of GOS payments to optometric practices. LOCSU have refreshed and developed new WOPEC modules to provide CET points to registrants and also quality assurance for Primary Eye care companies. Quality in Optometry (QiO) is being updated as GOS contracts change to help with contract compliance.  QiO also now includes a short checklist for NHSmail to help with email referrals. Some referral pathways have been renewed to keep in line with national policy and clinical guidance.

Zoe Richmond thanked all those in North Yorkshire who expressed interest in providing the DVLA contract which is up for tender. 

There is a research project with Moorfields for 3-4years around late stage AMD monitoring. They would like a few York optical practices to get involved; a letter of information regarding this will be sent out soon.


An electronic form may soon be available for urgent macula referrals in York, which will become accessible from the LOC website, along with a direct HES email address. This will speed up referral to treatment time for these patients.

A letter has been sent to Vale of York and Scarborough optometrists advising of an increase in the referral score for cataract treatment from 01/05/19 to pilot for 6months. The score will move from 7 to 10, meaning cataracts will need to be more advanced before referral is necessary. This will aim to reduce the backlog of patients awaiting surgery by releasing more surgical slots.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Planned Care Programme

The Planned Care Programme is trying to rationalise Ophthalmology services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate which includes: Calderdale, Wakefield, Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate. They have five projects: diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataract, AMD and children’s services, of which they want each LOC to lead on one of them. They will have engagement meetings for ‘Do Once and Share’ to find a conclusion and then commission this. The initial meeting is early June 2019. Currently, Leeds LOC has the glaucoma project and Bradford opted for cataracts. North Yorkshire LOC representing Harrogate would like AMD.

Next LOC meeting

The next LOC meeting will take place on Tuesday 16th July 2019 at 7pm at the Crown Hotel, Boroughbridge.