Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS)
One of LOCSU's key objectives for 2016/17, in anticipation of rapid growth of Minor Eye Condition Services (MECS) across England, is to have a workforce that is ready and accredited to deliver MECS. To date LOCs have organised MECS accreditations once a service has been agreed by a CCG. Going forward, LOCSU will work with LOCs to ensure all optometrists across England can access MECS accreditation so that they are ready and able to participate in any NHS-commissioned that is negotiated. It is worth adding that in the absence of an NHS-commissioned service MECS could of course also be offered privately. The major multiples have offered the use of their larger stores to host MECS OSCEs which will save on venue costs.
There are two parts to the training and accreditation for MECS:
· Part 1 is a series of online distance learning lectures and multiple choice questions delivered for LOCSU by WOPEC. This must be successfully completed by the optometrist before progressing to part 2. Part 1 is free of charge.
· Part 2 of the accreditation is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). This practical skills assessment is currently delivered at a local level on request from LOCs. It is run by WOPEC or the College of Optometrists, and carries a fee (around £135 -£150). Some employers may be able to assist with funding for part 2.
To commence the training, which also carries CET points, download the instructions on the right, and request an access code from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that at present none of the CCGs within Bucks has commissioned a MECS. This is a situation which the LOC is working hard to change.