MECS Launched

Minor Eye Conditions Service

After a somewhat protracted delay, I am pleased to announce that our Minor Eye Conditions Service will be promoted via GP practices from Monday, 16th April. This should lead to a greater footfall of patients to participating practices but bear in mind it will still need time to build initially. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few things.


Participating practices can be found (by GPs and others) on a list on the LOC website in the main menu under "Health Professionals" then “Optometrists & Dispensing Opticians". 
http://www.norfolkwaveneyloc.org.uk/health-professionals/optometrists-dispensing-opticians/forms-stationery-downloads/; this will be updated regularly. Your practice will not appear on the list until you have at least one practitioner who has applied for and been accredited via OptoManager. I suggest that any practice that has registered but not yet entered a practitioner, do so ASAP. 

If your practice is unable to offer a suitable appointment within the appropriate timescale for the symptoms, you are required to help the patient find a practice that can.

Non-participating practices must ensure that eligible patients are given the choice of an appointment through the NHS funded MEC service elsewhere, before offering treatment privately. It will of course be the patient’s choice.

The service is currently commissioned by North, South and Norwich CCGs. Therefore only patients registered with GP's in these areas are entitled to NHS funded MECS appointments.

Anyone still wishing to register their practice to provide the service is most welcome to do so.

Glaucoma

A new glaucoma contract is in the process of being written and as expected the CCGs (central 3 only so far) have decided to follow the NICE guidelines and ask that any patient being referred for raised IOP only, must undergo referral refinement in the community before being sent to secondary care. Any patient who is referred without refinement will be rejected.

The LOC believes there may be a need for a further accreditation session locally to increase the pool of practitioners able to provide this service. In order to assess the demand could I ask that any practice or practitioner who requires accreditation and would like to attend a local session lets me know ASAP.

As always, if you have any questions, please do feel free to contact me.

 Best wishes

Deborah Daplyn
On behalf of NWLOC and PENW.