Latest Meeting’s Minutes

The latest meeting’s minjures are below and a pdf version of this and other minutes can be accessed using the links on this page

There was an objection received on item 6 - detailed on page 5 item 6

Meeting Date and Start Time: Tuesday 27 November 2018, 7.00pm

Meeting Location: Holiday Inn Hotel, Barnsley

Present: Sukhy Bains (SuB), Peter Dand (PD), Bhavesh-Dayasharan Patel (BDP), Terry English (TE), Omar Hassan (OH), Robert King (RK), Aftab Rahim (AR), Nizz Sabir (NS), Steve Shaw (SS), and Tony Wing (TW). 

Attendees: Caroline (Wakefield LOC) Auckland-Shaw?, Clare Sheppard (CS) Jessica Hicklin, Adrian Riggs, Rosemary Siwek and Sarah Faulkner (SF) (Minute Taker)

Apologies: Dave Brumpton (DB), Sylvia Brumpton (SB), Sean O’Brien (SO’B), Richard Puttrell and Tan Hussain (TH).  

Minutes of the Last Meeting: The minutes from the meeting taking place on 4 September 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. Actions from the Last Meeting:
  1. NS to develop a letter to be sent to all practices advising that for Barnsley and Rotherham patients needing hydroxychloroquine should be referred back to their GP. 

NS advised that within Rotherham and Barnsley there is no pathway for hydroxychloroquine patients and these patients should be referred back to their GP. Further information about the protocol for hydroxychloroquine patients can be found on the Royal College website.

  1. OH to invite Dawn Roberts to attend November RBLOC meeting and all optometrists to consider questions for Dawn Roberts ahead of the next meeting.

This item was stood down until 2019.

  1. TH/NS and Georgios Mariatos to meet and discuss partnership working between optometrists and the Trust. 

NS advised the attendees that he has been in communication with Georgios Mariatos regarding the MECs work and NS is continuing to pursue for a meeting date to further discuss partnership working.

  1. OH, NS, SuB and TW to discuss practicalities of the CET event and feedback to next meeting.

This item was stood down until 2019.

  1. NS/TW to send a letter to practitioners from Rotherham and Barnsley identifying the opportunity to claim a reimbursement for the training. NS/TW to liaise with TE regarding how reimbursements will be made.

OH confirmed that a letter had been sent to all Barnsley practitioners.

  1. NS to develop a detailed proposal of the media campaign for Optometry First with costings and circulate to RBLOC members for a virtual vote on whether to fund or not.    

NS advised that it was agreed to pursue funding via other means.

  1. All RBLOC members to review the website and email OH with suggested changes and updates.

OH advised attendees that the website updates had been completed but welcomed further suggestions on potential additions and improvements. OH advised that there is no current “contact us” email address and so one is being sought. TE enquired how you log in to the website. OH advised that no log in is required. Log in is only required to edit the webpage.

  1. TW to compile a meeting synopsis from the minutes of each meeting and send out to members.  

This item is ongoing.

  1. SS to source a Barnsley venue for the next RBLOC meeting and liaise with TE regarding payment to the venue.

This action was completed.

  1. Barnsley Optometry First Update and Presentation 

NS presented to the attendees on Primary Eye Care Services (PEC). He covered the background to the development of the PEC advising that the first iteration was PEARS, which started in Barnsley in 2013 and developed into the MECs service now in place. 

NS displayed the structure of the PEC indicating that the LOC is part of PEC but PEC is a not for profit company and all contractors work for the company and are not in competition.

NS advised that the service for which the tender was won by PEC is called the Minor Eye Care Service (MECs). The service is contracted to deliver cataract assessments and post cataracts; work is being undertaken to contract for PRR, glaucoma and enhanced case findings.

Key stakeholders for the service include CCGs, GPs, hospitals, optometrists etc. and the referral pathway can include referrals from GPs, pharmacists, non-participating practices or self-referral. Referrals are all triaged and then appointments booked. Patient history and symptoms are taken and then the pathway outcomes are A&E, GP, pharmacy, refer into MECs, discharge or follow up – though there is no payment for follow up.

BDP queried the no follow up fee, enquiring if a patient with a corneal ulcer was referred to him from the hospital, a fee can be claimed but a follow up fee not claimed. NS confirmed that any referral from ophthalmology to an optometrist a MECs fee can be claimed. BDP also queried referrals for headaches. NS advised that this is not currently included in MECs and recommended using the 5.1 code on the GOS form with a clear note in the patient record. OH stated that if the referral is from a GP then a sight test should be conducted. BDP stated that he had been given conflicting advice on this. OH requested that BDP send an email clarifying his question about headache referrals and OH would discuss with colleagues.

ACTION: BDP to email OH regarding issue around referrals for headaches and OH to discuss further with advisor colleagues.

NS then went on to advise attendees about the MECs criteria, which included recent eye problems only and that the patient has to be registered with a Barnsley GP. It is intended that MECs should reduce secondary care and GP appointments. It is also hoped that antibiotic prescribing will also reduce. Exclusion criteria for MECs includes severe eye conditions, anything related to herpes zoster, diplopia, sutures, where a sight test is more appropriate, repeat field tests, suspected cancer and dry eye related macular degeneration. 

NS advised that the IT system for the MECs service was OptoManager.

NS then took the attendees through the cataract pathway specifying that patient choice must be made and should include all options such as Barnsley and Rotherham Hospital. Clare Sheppard advised that the form on the OptoManager system did not have Rotherham Hospital down as an option and NS agreed to check the patient choice form. PD enquired how fees were paid for referrals to Spa Medica. NS advised that referrals are made through OptoManager and optometrists will still receive £25 fee and £43 return fee. AR enquired if a Barnsley specific account was required for Optomanager and NS advised that anyone needing an OptoManager account was to email NS. BDP stated that there seemed to be increased administration burden for optometrists using Optomanager. NS highlighted the benefit of collecting data through a single platform and SS supported this statement highlighting that collecting the data at the front end saved significant work on audits etc. at a later date, as previously happened with PEARS.

ACTION: NS to check patient choice options on MECs form on OptoManager.

NS outlined the governance structure of MECs and outlined that everything can now be audited and that the standardised form must be used to ensure consistency of data collection. It was agreed that a copy of the standardised form would be made available on the website.

ACTION: NS to send a copy of the standardised form to OH to be made available on the RBLOC website.

NS outlined the accreditation process for MECs, which is distance learning and OSCEs. NS also outlined that all practitioners needed to have done safeguarding training and have insurance. 

NS advised that promotional materials for the service had been developed and NS had presented to GPs about red eye to promote the service. NS requested that all Barnsley practitioners display promotional materials in their practices. 

ACTION: All Barnsley Practitioners to download promotional materials from LOC website and display in practice.

Clare Sheppard highlighted issues with GPs not understanding MECs and NS requested that Clare email him with details and he would pick up.

ACTION: Clare Sheppard to email NS with information about GPs not understanding MECS.

OH stated that a lot of practitioners are locums and suggested engaging with practice staff and practice managers to help locums to use the MECs service, which the group then discussed in detail. 

Clare Sheppard enquired about how to check on routine referrals, specifically how can optometrists be assured it has been received. NS stated that Optomanager should hold a record and people can email the patient PID to NS and he can check.    

  1. Debrief from NOC conference 

OH provided the attendees with brief feedback from the NOC Conference:

LOCSU: OH advised that the relationship between LOCSU and New Medica was clarified in that LOCSU is not in contract with New Medica but has an agreement in principle to work on cataracts. NS advised the attendees that LOCSU will work with multiple companies and partners to benefit practitioners and contractors. A question was raised about LOCSU seemingly taking power from LOCs with the establishment of PECs and it was noted that the PEC is a necessity to win tenders and LOCSU is there to support LOCs not to control them.

Central Optical Fund: The Central Optical Fund presented to the attendees and advised that they have some funding available and are looking for suggestions on how to best utilise the funding. One project that has been invested in is the Foresight Report. OH advised the attendees that each LOC has to opt into the Central Optical Fund but unless the RBLOC has a clear steer on how the funding should be utilised then OH recommends not opting in for the time being. 

PCSE: Katrina Venerus, former MD of LOCSU is now seconded to PCSE. She presented and advised that ophthalmic payments are being completed on schedule; online submission for CET has worked well, queries lodged are being responded to within 30 days, an online enquiry form has been launched – paper form submissions will exist for a minority of practices but most will be online and electronic signatures will be  accepted. In 2019 there will be a controlled rollout of an online service.

OH advised the attendees that the NOC Conference was an excellent opportunity for networking and topics covered will help to develop the vision and strategy for RBLOC in 2019.

  1. Vice - Chair Vacancy - Expression of interest 

OH asked the attendees for nominations for the role of Vice-Chair. OH stated that ideally, for equity of representation, the nominees should ideally be from the Barnsley patch but nominees from the Rotherham patch were also welcomed. Sukhy Bains (Rotherham), Bhavesh-Dayasharan Patel (Barnsley) and Steve Shaw (Barnsley) expressed an interest in the Vice Chair role.

ACTION: RBLOC Committee Members to vote on appointment to the role of Vice-Chair.

  1. Proposal to hold LOC Away Day to set out priorities and vision for the LOC in 2019

OH advised the attendees that an LOC away day would be held Friday 7 December 2018 at the Carlton Park Hotel in Rotherham. This item on the minute was disputed by RK who stated the following: ‘Item 6 is an inaccurate reporting of the discussion. The committee decision was to hold in January. This is changing the decision of the committee to fit what happened.’ No other objections were received. OH advised that confirmed attendees for the away day were OH, TE, NS and TW but all members were welcome to attend. OH requested that if members were unable to attend the away day, then to please submit ideas to contribute towards a vision and strategy for the LOC for 2019. OH advised that the away day would focus on vision setting and strategy, communications, CET practice events etc. OH also stated that he will forward a draft consultation document to all members to help them forward any ideas and thoughts for the Away Day-This was emailed by OH to all committee members on the 7th December 2018

ACTION: All members of the LOC unable to attend the away day to submit ideas for 2019 vision and strategy to OH via email.  

  1. Provisional 2019 LOC Meeting dates and location:

OH suggested the following provisional dates for RBLOC meetings throughout 2019, with the potential to alternate venues between Rotherham and Barnsley: 

  • 22nd January 2019 
  • 12th March 2019
  • 11th June 2019
  • 2nd July 2019 
  • 10th September 
  • 26th November 2019 
  • Away Day 10th December 2019

All attendees agreed to the proposed dates but suggested holding the meetings in one venue to ensure consistency of attendance. SuB suggested Tankersley Manor as an option, as it is half way between Rotherham and Barnsley. It was agreed that OH and TE would discuss venue bookings going forward and all meeting dates would be sent out as calendar invitations to attendees.

ACTION: All meeting dates to be sent out to attendees as calendar invitations.

  1. Any Other Business (AOB) (All)

There was no other business to be discussed.

Meeting Closed: 21:00

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting: Tuesday 22nd January 2019, 7pm, Tankersley Manor, Church Lane, Tankersley, Barnsley, S75 3DQ.