Latest Meeting’s Minutes

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MINUTES of the Rotherham and Barnsley Local Optometric Committee

Meeting Date and Start Time: Tuesday 22 January 2019, 7pm

Meeting Location: Tankersley Manor Hotel, Barnsley

Present: Sukhy Bains (SuB), Dave Brumpton (DB), Bhavesh-Dayasharan Patel (BDP), Omar Hassan (OH), Tan Hussain (TH), Robert King (RK), Sean O’Brien (SO’B), Aftab Rahim (AR), Nizz Sabir (NS), Steve Shaw (SS), and Tony Wing (TW). 

Attendees: Rosemarie Siwek, Chris Raison, Azhar Laher, Clare Sheppard and Sarah Faulkner (SF) (Minute Taker)

Apologies: Sylvia Brumpton (SB), Peter Dand (PD) and Terry English (TE). 

Minutes of the Last Meeting: The minutes from the meeting taking place on 27 November 2018 were accepted as a correct record. 

Matters Arising from RBLOC Meeting:

  1. Welcome and Apologies

OH welcomed everyone to the meeting and conducted introductions and apologies.

  1. Barnsley Update

NS provided an update on progress with the Barnsley PECs service. NS thanked those practices already taking part and encouraged more to participate in the service. NS advised that the 3 month data is showing high referral numbers. The main challenges in the service at present are based around issues with OptoManager but these issues are being resolved. NS advised that a newsletter will soon be circulated to all participants in the service and will include anonymised data from the service so far. NS advised that he is available for 1-1 support as required.

BDP enquired about the patient questionnaire, which all participants in the scheme have to ask patients to complete. BDP advised that the questionnaire includes some personal, sensitive questions and he has received some intense challenge from patients when they are asked to complete this. TH and CS advised they had also experienced issues. NS stated that the patient questionnaire is part of the contract and the questions are standard minimum dataset questions required by the NHS to show that the service is able to evidence equality and diversity. BDP still felt that some of the questions were inappropriate and it was putting optometrists in a difficult position. OH encouraged BDP to email NS regarding this issue so that it could be raised via a formal route. NS advised that, on receipt of the email, he would raise the patient questionnaire issue with the CCG but in the meantime he encouraged all participants in the scheme to read their contracts to understand what they have signed up to deliver.    

ACTION: BDP to email NS regarding patient questionnaire issue with Barnsley PECs service.

  1. Feedback from the RBLOC Away Day

OH advised the attendees that 4 members of the committee attended the RBLOC Away Day held in December 2018 and had a really productive day. The attendees set a forward plan and firmed up the aim and purpose for the LOC. The away day focussed on understanding where the LOC’s funding comes from, who are our customers and how do we best serve those customers. OH advised that the LOC has very active members and this activity needs to be harnessed in the best possible way to be effective.

TW fed back that the away day was a useful oppurtunity to share ideas on LOC functionality, and to better understand the skill sets within the LOC. OH fed back that TE input was invaluable due to his historical knowledge of the LOC. NS stated that not enough notice had been provided for the away day, which meant low level engagement from members. NS stated that this needs to be considered before another away day is held. OH. TW and SS stated that they accepted the day was held at short notice and that there would be more notice before another away day was held in order to maximise participation (potential date already in diary). OH stressed that the away day was an ideas sharing session and the intention was to work up a plan for the LOC for 2019/20 to be discussed with members. TW pointed out that proposals from the day were certainly not intended to be presented as a fait accompli. OH did stress that all members were invited to participate virtually and only SuB did so. SuB did echo other members concerns that there was not enough notice provided for the away day and also highlighted that she had not yet been added to the RBLOC What’s App group. OH apologised regarding the What’s App group and said this would be rectified.

ACTION: OH to ensure SuB is added to the RBLOC What’s App group.

OH explained the business model canvass that was used to facilitate discussions at the away day. OH stated that the first segment was to consider who we are serving. TH stated that the constitution should contain that information and enquired if the constitution had been reviewed at the away day. OH stated that the constitution is out of date and the away day feedback document is intended to be used to enhance the constitution. SS stated that the away day paper certainly does not intend to duplicate existing documentation and that it is part of day to day business to review work to ensure the best and most effective use of committee time and funds. 

OH provided the attendees with an overview of the customer segments highlighting that the LOC should focus on delivering services/working with independent contractors, multiple contractors, Locum optometrists and DO’s and employed optometrists and DO’s and practice managers. OH stated that the new addition here was the practice managers, who have not before featured in the constitution. OH felt that practice managers were good to link in with as they tended to be more constant whereas optometrists move around more.    OH asked the attendees for any additions or objections to the suggested customers. BDP suggested adding hospital optometrists but NS stated that they did not fund the LOC and so should not be classed as a customer.

OH then reviewed the value propositions with the attendees. NS suggested adding coaching and mentoring to the list and SuB suggested positive representation. NS stressed the importance of having a local focus and all attendees agreed with this.

OH then asked the attendees to review channels with specific focus on which channels should be utilised. For example, should the RBLOC meeting be the main channel of communication or should there be other methods also. NS stated a preference for a task and finish group approach to identified pieces of work. Silo working has dangers for business continuity and so establishing task and finish groups to work on projects is a good way of channelling effort to maximise output. OH enquired if anyone had suggestions on how to communicate with hard to reach groups/practitioners. OH suggested making 1-1 contact with practices that were not engaged with the LOC to explain what the LOC does and how they could be more involved, but acknowledged that this could be very time consuming. NS suggested that each committee member is given 2 practices each to engage with to introduce the LOC. OH also suggested getting more involved in national initiatives. TH advised that CET events have been good and there has always been involvement in National Eye Health week. NS asked for a pledge from committee members to contribute and to be accountable. TH stated that the website is an action point and CET events. SuB stated that hospital engagement events should also be included. NS asked for coaching and mentoring of new practitioners to be included in the channels. OH advised that a LinkedIn page has been set up for the LOC and encouraged members to join this and provide suggestions on how it could be improved. 

OH then asked the attendees to review the customer relationships part of the document. OH asked for additions to the ideas proposed. NS suggested that workforce and accreditation be added as a way of engaging further. The attendees then held a discussion on contacting optometrist and multiples and NS suggested compiling a survey monkey to seek feedback from customer segments.

OH asked the attendees to next focus on the revenue streams and stated the importance of understanding how much revenue the LOC receives. TH stated that the levy is .85% but .5% goes to LOCSU. OH conducted a discussion on increasing the levy. Attendees stated that an increase could not be justified without a cost projection for LOC activity over 2019/20 and accompanying costed action plan. RK suggested strengthening committee member understanding of the revenue by a financial statement being provided each month. Committee members agreed that an understanding of the revenue would be helpful.

ACTION: TE to produce a financial report for each meeting of the RBLOC for review by attendees.

OH suggested that tasks taken on by members of the committee should have a cost ceiling. TH and NS stated that hourly, half day and full day rates would be an option. OH also suggested that travel expenses should be made using a claim form and not emailed to TE as has been the process. 

ACTION: NS to share travel expenses claim form from other LOCs.

The attendees then discussed other potential revenue streams and SuB suggested that sponsorship of CET events could be a new revenue stream. 

OH and the attendees then turned their attention to key resources and stated that the committee members are the best resource in the LOC. OH stated that he was keen to develop social media resources and enquired if people found the What’s App group helpful. All attendees agreed the What’s App group was a useful method of communication. OH discussed GDPR regualtions and the need to hold information safely and securely. OH suggested setting up a cloud account to securely hold information. The attendees agreed to the setting up of a cloud account.

ACTION: OH to establish cloud account on behalf of the RBLOC.

OH then asked attendees to review key activities. OH noted that 2019 RBLOC meeting dates had been set and other key activities should focus around setting dates for CET events and establishing a task and finish group to support these. OH advised that commissioning activities take up a lot of time and enquired how useful this was to the identified customer segments. TH stated that now PEC is established the amount of time previously dedicated to commissioning activities will reduce. NS advised that he could report on commissioning. It was agreed that OH would identify role outlines for key activities, for example CET Officer, Website Manager etc., and share them with the committee for members to express an interest in the roles that best suited their skill set.      

ACTION: OH to identify role outlines for key activities, for example CET Officer, Website Manager etc., and share them with the committee for members to express an interest in the roles that best suited their skill set.  

Key Partnerships were then reviewed. The only addition noted was Local Authorities. Cost Structure was also reviewed and agreed by all attendees.

OH asked the committee members for views on the paper as a whole, including any parts that they disagreed with. NS expressed thanks to OH, TW, TE and SS for the effort that went into the paper. TH added his thanks and stated that the paper gives the committee momentum. SuB suggested a 6 month review of progress on the items highlighted in the paper. OH agreed to write an action for the RBLOC based on the away day paper and feedback from attendees to be shared at the next meeting.

ACTION: OH to RBLOC 2019/20 Action Plan for review at next meeting.

  1. Any Other Business (AOB) (All)

Vice - Chair Vacancy - Expression of interest Outcome:

SF advised the attendees that following the anonymised vote for the three candidates who had put themselves forward for the Vice-Chair role (BDP, SUB, SS) the person elected to the role, by 1 vote, is SS. All attendees congratulated SS. 

Barnsley Hospital Cataract Evening: 

NS advised that he had been contacted by Barnsley Hospital with an invitation to all optometrists to attend an evening at the hospital to see their cataract facilities. NS asked the attendees to propose availability for this and then NS would organise with Barnsley Hospital.

ACTION: All attendees to send availability to attend an evening at Barnsley Hospital to view the cataract facilities to NS and NS to set up a convenient date.

Meeting Closed: 20:45

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting: Tuesday 12 March 2019, 7pm, Carlton Park Hotel, 102-104 Moorgate Road, Rotherham, S60 2BG.