View from Locsu: LOCs and PECs need to build closer relationships
Locsu recently appointed a new part-time director of ophthalmology. Christiane Shrimpton brings with her hands-on experience of service redesign. She helped lead major NHS reforms which saw 6,000 appointments move from hospital to optical practices in its first year as part of the Better Care Together Initiative in Morecambe Bay.
Her experience will help Locsu develop the offer that the community optical sector can provide to the NHS. The reform of NHS delivery and the introduction of population-level, integrated care is a huge opportunity to reduce pressures on the hospital eye services by moving minor eye conditions and routine monitoring of stable conditions into primary care.
In tandem with the consolidation of Primary Eyecare Companies, this appointment will help us marry the clinical and business aims to make optical practices the first port of call for eye health.
It should help both LOCs and PECs to build closer relationships and integrate working with ophthalmology departments. Adding her voice to the Locsu team means we can hone our message to commissioners that community optical practices can help streamline eye health services for the patient and make them more cost-effective for the NHS.
Shrimpton says: ‘Eye health is vital and has a wider role to play in the health of the population Having experience of a population-based approach to pathway redesign and working across organisational boundaries to make community eye services both cost-effective and more convenient for patients is at the heart of both health reform and improvement. I look forward to working with the community sector to ensure it is part of the solution to reducing hospital pressures.’