News and Secretary's Reports



Key points from the North Yorkshire Local Optical Committee meeting




LOC Company/ Primary Eyecare Company (PEC) Progress


Harrogate MECS and East Riding of Yorkshire MECS continue to be performing well.


Communication with York and Scarborough commissioners is ongoing and it is hoped that a PIN (Prior Information Notice) will be published soon. The LOC Company will express an interest in what is likely to be a post op cataract service and MECS. Lisa Barker met with the GP Federation Chair in York who is in favour of this.


Deryck Watts and David Brett-Williams (PEC directors) have finalised the North and North East Lincs contract for a post op cataract service with NewMedica (a private company owned by Specsavers which is providing cataract surgery in the area). Although not running yet, when it begins, the price for this service will be £50 per patient episode, of which £7 will be paid to the LOC Company and £43 to the practitioner.


Bedfordshire MECS is going well with over 2000 patient episodes so far since August 2017. This has now brought in enough money to the LOC Company for it to become self-sufficient. In the near future it will be possible to pay back some money to the LOCs.


Low vision services can be met privately by the Wilberforce Trust for an initial consultation fee and a fee for the magnifiers purchased; or the NHS can provide this service in the hospital and magnifiers can be loaned. Low vision follow up appointments at the hospital have ceased, however patients are given a number so they can return if needed e.g. if vision changing or broken magnifiers.


Cataract Referrals


The new criteria for cataract referral are now based on lifestyle and not on visual acuity for NHS treatment.


Alternatively, SpaMedica is a company that conducts cataract treatments privately with a timescale of referral to treatment being within 4weeks. Optometrists can complete an accreditation to be able to refer patients via the Choice Office. SpaMedica offer patient transport to and from the treatment location (e.g. Wakefield, Bradford, and Manchester). The optometrist fills in a post op cataract form electronically back to SpaMedica with the relevant information and option to have the second eye operated on. If there are any other abnormalities e.g. disc or macula problems these are referred to hospital.


Peer review


LOC funded peer review with Bob Taylor will be held at the post-graduate centre at York hospital, around the end of March 2018 for up to 40 optometrists on a first come first serve basis. Liz will inform local optometrists of this via email. The topic is based around not prescribing low plus prescriptions to children.


Medicines Management


Jonathan Ainley from North Yorkshire Medicines management team would like to remind all optometrists to offer over the counter blepharitis treatment and eye drops instead of via GP prescriptions so to reduce the cost to the NHS.


Next meeting and AGM


The date of the next LOC meeting will be held on Tuesday 17th April 2018 at The Crown Hotel, Boroughbridge. There will be a buffet at 6.30pm for the AGM meeting at 7pm, the LOC meeting will follow.