Minor Eye Care Services (Mecs) should be rolled out to commissioning areas across England the Optical Confederation (OC) told Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, David Mowat MP at their first meeting this week.

Chris Hunt, OC chair, and OC chief executives’ representative, Henrietta Alderman discussed the pressures facing hospitals and GPs and the value of community optical practitioners supporting NHS care with the minister. Talks also covered the public health role of the sight test and the scope for utilising local practices to allow more routine services to be brought out of hospital and provided closer to home.

Hunt said: ‘We are heartened that the minister was genuinely interested in how the optical sector can offer real value within a primary care setting and deliver the Five Year Forward View. He was surprised that eye health services were not higher up the NHS agenda, a concern which we fully share. Indeed it was not clear that officials had convincing answers for this.’