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Primary Care Optical Practice is a hugely undervalued aspect of eye health.

4 March 2021

Primary Care Optical Practices have the skill set, workforce, clinical capability, equipment and, most importantly, the willingness to improve the eye health opportunity and eye health journey of our local communities. However, it needs to be recognised that Primary Care Optical Practices can no longer be expected to provide services under goodwill or through the potential misuse of GOS.

 We appreciate those who choose to work beyond GOS, do so in the best interests of their patients and to support their local eye department at this difficult time. However we also must be mindful of GOS regulation.

 Rest assured that NTW LOC are meeting regularly with colleagues from NuTH. Their senior management and clinical team recognise our challenges and we are working together to present a case for change and to progress the recent proposal. We also continue to liaise with other local trusts and secondary care colleagues to promote and progress Primary Care Optical Practice involvement in local eye health systems.

NTWLOC are striving to change the situation locally and earn Primary Care Optical Practice the respect and remuneration deserved. However, this will not be possible while practices continue to provide information and services free of charge.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear LOC Latest News

COVID-19 Exemption for Patient Signatures Extended

The DHSC has confirmed today that the temporary measure whereby NHS GOS contractors state ‘COVID-19’ instead of requiring patient signatures on forms has now been extended until 30 June 2021. This measure was originally implemented as a COVID infection prevention control measure by removing the need for patients to handle pens in optical practices – …

30 March 2021

Post-Operative Cataract information

NTW LOC have also been made aware that some secondary care surgical providers are now conducting all post-operative care reviews via telephone consultation. Patients are presenting with post-operative forms from the surgical provider for completion by optometrists requesting information such as Vision and VA. The reporting of such information falls outside the requirements of GOS …

4 March 2021

Requests for diagnostic testing

 We have been notified of practitioners being requested to perform IOP checks and/or visual fields on Glaucoma/OHT patients who are under the care and review of the HES, but have had their appointments delayed due to the global pandemic. We have also been alerted to requests of imaging for these patients.  These requests sit outside …

4 March 2021

All urgent and emergency cases should be directed to EED

NTWLOC continue to work with NuTH to lobby for the commissioning of CUES and Glaucoma services across the North ICP area. The progress of this has been painfully slow with financial challenges cited as the reason for lack of progress. We remain hopeful and continue to explain the limitations of GOS and the need for an …

4 March 2021

GRR moves to the OPERA platform

3 March 2021

Sensory Support in Gateshead and South Tyneside.

Sight Service rebrand, from the 1st of March will be known as Vision&Hearing Support.  reflecting the recent incorporation of services for D/deaf, hard of hearing and tinnitus support. For the full story read more here – https://www.sight-service.org.uk/ Remember referrals can be made directly (quicker route) or via the ECLO at either HES. This also includes …

24 February 2021

Sign up to PES to offer Enhanced Services

The LOC are working hard along with HES Secondary Care colleagues to implement a change in pathway design, enabling more patients with eye issues to be seen closer to home within primary care optical practices.  Further updates will be provided soon. In the meantime we’d encourage any Optical Practice who is not sub-contracted to Primary …

11 February 2021

HES Update – RVI elective surgery suspended, SEI updated wet AMD form

RVI – The LOC has been made aware that elective surgery has now been suspended within Ophthalmology. We will inform you when this restarts. The planned opening of the new cataract surgical facility at the old Newcastle General Hospital site has now been delayed until March 8th. A further communication will come out from the …

11 February 2021

North East Optical Society (NEOS) CET resumes

CET events will run virtually – January to April, 7pm login time to start at 7.15pm prompt.  It will be determined if face-to-face networking events can resume after this. There will also be at least one peer review; whether it is done virtually or in-person will be confirmed in 2021. Due to the increased number of …

29 December 2020

Lateral flow testing devices for COVID-19 testing of asymptomatic patient-facing staff

Rollout of lateral flow testing devices for COVID-19 testing of asymptomatic patient-facing staff delivering NHS services in primary care On 9 November NHSE&I announced that the Government had agreed that testing will be made available to all asymptomatic patient-facing NHS staff. This letter confirms how all four primary care contractor groups (medical, dental, optometry and …

19 December 2020

LOCSU Latest news

New OFNC Chair Confirms Course for the Coming Year

The incoming Chair of the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee, Gordon Ilett, has thanked outgoing Chair Paul Carroll for the leadership he has provided throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

7 April 2021

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